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Sasquatch Days rumbles into Harrison Hot Springs next week

Celebration of culture, local First Nations returns June 22
Paddlers of all ages competed in the weekend-long war canoe races on Harrison Lake. (Photo/Mikhail Crispin)

Bring your binoculars, your bare feet and a big appetite. Sasquatch Days is coming soon. 

The shores of Harrison Lake will soon be full of First Nations community members, gathering to celebrate their culture with war canoe races, traditional food, medicine walks and more on June 22 and 23. 

Sasquatch Days dates back to 1938, when the first celebration drew 2,000 attendees from First Nations across Canada and the United States. After COVID-19 shut down the even for a few years, it made a triumphant return in 2022. 

Harrison Hot Springs sits on the site of the ancient Sts'ailes village of Qwó:íls, named after the hot springs water for which Harrison itself is named. The sasquatch dates back to time immemorial in Sts'ailes tradition. The word itself is an anglicized version of the Halq’emeylem word “Sasq’ets,” translated as “hairy man.” According to tradition, the sasq’ets is a spiritual being that takes care of Sts'ailes land and the people therein. 

A new, expanded museum dedicated to the sasq’ets was opened in Harrison Hot Springs earlier this year, displaying not only the traditional stories of the sasq’ets but the rare eyewitness encounters and artifacts associated with it. 

The Sts'ailes people believe sasq’ets can travel between the physical and spiritual realms at will and can change shapes. This means the sasq’ets can only be seen when it wishes to be seen and it is impossible to physically capture. 


Adam Louis

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