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Recently the Pacific Peoples' Partnership staff had the honour to bear witness to an inspiring and historic event, the naming of the Salish Sea at the Songhees Nation on Canada's dramatic coastline. This newly named stretch of the north eastern Pacific Ocean rims the southern part of Vancouver Island, washing upon both Canadian and USA western shores. Spanish, French, and English place names have been dominant on the regional maps until now. Thanks due to the cooperation of visionaries, nations including the Canadian and American governments and the Indigenous Peoples who have from time immemorial resided upon these shores and voyaged these waterways. The appropriate name has been officially declared "Salish Sea".

This celebration was led by British Columbia's Lieutenant Governor Steven Point, a member of the Sto:lo First Nation. His powerful words expressed the day: "This gesture to aboriginal people is a long time coming," he told the diverse crowd. "It demonstrates, though, that there is a path to reconciliation, that there is a path that brings us out of darkness, that there is a way that we can find common ground and work together. Today is a wonderful day of celebration."

Indeed the summer of 2010 has been a celebration for Pacific Peoples' Partnership as we continue to mark our 35th Anniversary. We were thrilled to host "Te Vaka" the 2010 Pacific Group of the Year, for a cultural exchange that included an Ava Ceremony hosted by South Pacific Islanders upon Tsartlip territory with Chief Wayne Morris and local Elders in attendance, a series of Pacific dance & drumming workshops and a sold out performance of the award winning international group! Following on this series of successes our board of directors and staff organized our 3rd Annual One Wave Festival to rave reviews.

In these days of uncertainty, when so much turmoil is taking place throughout the world, it is easy to get caught in a whirlpool of despair. The way out is to look for the light and remember that the real power is with the people and at the grass roots. We must come together, celebrate each success and respect the teachings of the past as we look towards the future. It is with this in mind that PPP is presenting our 21st Pacific Networking Conference "Pacific Wayfinders: Celebrating Indigenous Leadership and Knowledge" planned for November 10-13th, 2010 in Victoria, BC.

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We urge all our PPP friends to help us mark this special occasion and achievement. Join us at the Conference and Honouring Ceremony. Send your reflections on your involvement with this incredible organization for our Anniversary celebrations. Tell us your Pacific stories. Join us on Facebook. Make a donation to support our critical work in West Papua. We need our friends more than ever!

Happy anniversary to all who love the Pacific and have supported our work past, present and future! Let us walk together in partnership for another 35 years.

In solidarity,

April Ingham

Executive Director
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Author:Ingham, April
Publication:Tok Blong Pasifik
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Jun 22, 2010
Words:494
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