The Confluence and Movable Feast events continue to help rebuild community

Monday, March 18th, 2024 1:10pm


Image Caption

Artistic director Meeka Morgan of 2 Rivers Remix and skəlɣap Movable Feast performer Dene singer Leela Gilday.
By Shari Narine
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

For the second consecutive year, En’owkin Centre in snpintktn (Penticton) will host two events, The Confluence and skelyap Movable Feast.

They are a collaboration between 2 Rivers Remix, which started bringing Indigenous performers together in Lytton, B.C. in 2019, and En’owkin Centre’s Ignite the Arts Festival.

A revisioning of what once was a Lytton three-day musical festival was forced when the village and neighbouring Lytton First Nation were ravaged by a fire in 2021.

The Confluence will examine how Indigenous people can culturally recover from the effects of fire, floods, droughts and instability from climate change that they experience on a regular basis. It takes place March 25 and 26.

It’s a “gathering of hearts and minds” of Indigenous activators, philosophers, creators, artists, dancers, musicians, Elders, and knowledge keepers, said artistic director Meeka Morgan of 2 Rivers Remix.

It would have been easy to have been discouraged by the loss at Lytton, but if there was ever a time a community and its people needed support it was then, said Morgan, who is Secwepemc/Nuu-Chah-Nulth/Nlaka’pamux.

“We know the importance of keeping people connected in times of crisis,” she said. Lytton is still in the very early stages of rebuilding and the people who once lived there are still “climate refugees,” Morgan explained.

The need to rebuild community resulted in the expansion of the Lytton event.

“We started doing an event called The Confluence and the idea was to have…an Indigenized version of a conference,” said Morgan.

With Lytton being the point at which the Thompson and Fraser rivers meet, the event was named The Confluence “because these are real points of power,” said Morgan.

The Confluence was held virtually for two years before going live in Penticton in 2023. While the event is only open physically to Indigenous peoples because space is limited, it is being livestreamed.

Morgan says the intent had always been for the Lytton festival to expand into communities of different Nations but the fire pushed the need.

“The movable feast was created out of that necessity of having to keep our communities connected, especially our Lytton community. But then it expanded into just being connected to other communities in our Nation and then having other Nations being connected to one another. And so that's the movable feast concept,” said Morgan. That event is scheduled for March 28.

2 Rivers Remix collaborates with the different communities that host them to ensure protocols are followed and communities get to say which of their members will do the welcoming or participate on panels.

People from across Turtle Island are invited to present on a variety of topics from language revitalization to different art forms to different philosophies.

“It's about bringing in all of our Indigenous ways of thinking, being, meaning into one area and creating this environment…(that) focuses on the values of safety, tolerance, acceptance and love,” she said, adding there is always an opportunity to go out on the land.

Morgan views the event as a reminder of how First Nations people used to gather before cell phones and Internet to share ideas and make decisions. But at the same time, she says, it also shows “contemporary evolutions” of cultures and traditions.

“There are continuations of the culture that tell our stories in different ways…in new ways and in ways maybe that we're not familiar or sometimes comfortable with (but) it's still evidence of our continued existence as Indigenous people,” she said.

The theme of this year’s The Confluence is Community Roots 2 Rhizomes.

“Cultural rhizomes are non-hierarchical cultural ecosystems… retaining the ability for new cultural shoots to grow upwards, while valiantly storing resources for emergency use,” says Morgan in a video on Youtube

Headlining skəlɣap Movable Feast is double JUNO award winner Dene singer Leela Gilday. Also performing are Ts’msyen musician Saltwater Hank from Hartley Bay, Dakelh artist Sabina Dennis, multidisciplinary Anishinaabe/N’lakapamux artist Amanda Wood, and Mexika artists Ana Cornejo and Judith Colibri.

Morgan’s The Melawmen Collective, a contemporary rock and hip-hop group, will also be performing. Morgan is a writer and vocalist for the group which among its members includes her son and her son’s father. The Melawmen Collective finished recording its newest album in February, which is being mixed now and will be released soon.

Both events are free of charge. Registration is necessary to receive an email in order to virtually access the livestream for both events. Registration can be made at

Local Journalism Initiative Reporters are supported by a financial contribution made by the Government of Canada.