The sense of community will be in full display on Saturday, September 18, through the 100 Drums celebration. The an annual event, hosted for the people of the Nlaka’pamux territory, will be held at Shulus Arbor. This year the main focus will be on honouring and listening to the people of the land who have been affected by the recent climate disasters in B.C. 

Billie Pierre is the head organizer for 100 Drums. She describes what the celebration aims to accomplish.

“One hundred drums has been an annual event for several years now,” she explained. “This year, because of the floods and fires that took place within the Nlaka’pamux territory such as the floods here in Merritt, all the landslides along the Coquihalla and Highway 8, and the Lytton fire, we wanted to get together and acknowledge the people who suffered from loss, hand drum for them and have an uplifting gathering.”

Pierre’s aunt, Molly Toodlican, has been one of the primary organizers of this annual gathering, but unfortunately was unable to volunteer this year. Pierre gladly stepped up as she is already familiar with the event, helping Toodlican in previous years.

“It’s supposed to be fun and uplifting but at the same time addresses really serious issues like the Nlaka’pamux territory seeing really negative impacts from climate change,” Pierre described.

“We can feel the impacts of this climate crisis and I haven’t really seen it be acknowledged so I thought it needs to be put out there to let people know that it’s going on.” 

Pierre has partnered with Vine Arts, and Nadine Spence to make this year’s celebration at Shulus possible. The program for the celebration will include:

  • hand drumming
  • musical performances by KinFolk Nation, Kin Balam, and A’a:liya
  • a stick game tournament organized by Vi Manuel
  • a feast featuring salmon
  • story telling by flood and fire impacted guest speakers
  • presentation of ‘Honouring our Grandmother’s Healing Project’ by Nadine Spence

“We’re inviting people who’ve lost their homes or their farming lands or whose lives have been negatively impacted,” said Pierre. “They are all welcomed to speak. We all want to get together to show our support for these people.” 

The celebration begins at 3 p.m., with a feast and story telling. Vendors are welcomed to set their own booths at the event with at no cost. Stick Game registration will be from 3 to 5 p.m. and teams are required to pay a $100 registration fee. Shulus Arbor is located at 2164 Neale Rd, Merritt. For any other questions please email Billie Pierre at