Saturday June 25th and Sunday June 26th
The joint hosts for this year's event, Sts’ailes First Nations (Coast Salish People of the Stolo Nation) and the Village of Harrison Hot Springs, invite visitors to this unique event that brings two communities together in an opportunity to learn about the traditions of the Sts’ailes people and share cultural experiences. This inter-cultural celebration includes canoe races, traditional salmon barbeque, medicine walks, cultural boat tours, arts & craft activities, games, entertainment and most importantly talks on the Sasquatch from Sts’ailes experts and local Harrison Hot Springs Sasquatch investigators.
This year’s two-day event will begin at 9:00 am Saturday June 25th with a short procession to Harrison Lake Plaza where a welcoming ceremony will be held at 10:00. Each day will feature artisan activity tables, medicine walks and opportunities for intercultural sharing. Saturday morning the main event starts as war canoes gather for a friendly competition that will continue with final races on Sunday. Of course, no canoe race is complete without a traditional salmon barbeque that will take place Saturday and Sunday afternoon.
Is Sasquatch Real?
Described as a bi-pedal mammal of exceptional size (sometimes reaching 14’) with great strength and reddish hair covering its entire body, the Sasquatch is legendary in Harrison Hot Springs and there have been many regional sightings. The word Sasquatch is thought to be a mispronunciation of the Sts’ailes First Nations word ‘Sasq’ets’, meaning ‘hairy man’. For centuries, the Sasquatch has occupied a unique niche in the oral traditions of the First Nations communities of Harrison Lake and Harrison River. The Sts’ailes believe the Sasquatch is a spiritual being that can vanish into the spirit realm at will, which may explain why the elusive being is so difficult to track down.
It is interesting to note that people will rarely begin a conversation by stating their personal beliefs but will instead inquire “So, do you believe Sasquatch are real?”
Look over a map of the vast wilderness surrounding Harrison Lake. It is difficult to imagine the sheer expanse, the thousands of square kilometers of forest and mountain. The majority of us, if we go hiking or camping, tend to limit our movement to an area that is defined by the distance to our entrance or egress point. If we were to play hide and seek in the woods, we would have no difficulty in not being seen or found even in a very small area. Likewise, we have no doubt that these woods are home to grizzly, cougar, deer, mountain goats, big horn sheep, moose and even wild boar…all of these amazing creatures exist and yet are rarely seen.
Perhaps we only disbelieve the idea of Sasquatch because we cannot conceive of a being with human characteristics who would not need, or seek out, human comforts. But then that type of thought process is only an indication of how limited we are in our thinking and does not take into account how resourceful a Sasquatch would have to be to exist without any of what we call “Creature comforts”, those material things or luxuries that help to provide for one's bodily comfort.