Prayers, songs and applause filled the Vancouver Convention Centre on Friday as the Ninth Gathering of Healing Our Spirit Worldwide (HOSW) completed its fifth and final day. Attendees from around the world—many coming from as far as Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii—celebrated this meeting of Indigenous minds and spirits.
“The vision has come alive here and now we can take it home to our own communities," said Rod Jeffries, a board member of the International Indigenous Council that has been organizing HOSW since the first gathering in Edmonton in 1992.
The event in Vancouver, on the lands the Coast Salish territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleilwaututh Nations, ran from September 11-15, and was hosted by the First Nations Health Authority.
“We as Indigenous people have the same spirit," said Jeffries. “And that spirit is really uplifted this week."
Now that the ninth gathering is complete, the location and date of the tenth was announced before thousands of spectators at the closing ceremonies. The National Indian Health Board will host the event in Washington, D.C.