Mob Bounce is one of the groups lined up to appear at the upcoming Koksilah Music Festival in September. (Submitted)

Mob Bounce is one of the groups lined up to appear at the upcoming Koksilah Music Festival in September. (Submitted)

VIDEO: Indigenous voices take centre stage at new Koksilah Music Festival

Coming in the fall to Providence Farm, the Koksilah Music Festival will showcase indigenous talent

The first annual Koksilah Music Festival makes its debut Sept 8-10 at Tuwe’nu (Providence Farm) in Tl’upalus (Cowichan Bay).

The goal of this family-friendly event is to amplify the voices of Indigenous artists and to raise funds for grassroots Indigenous-led resurgence projects, including Unist’ot’en Camp, Lelu Island, and Xwaaqw’um, a local Quw’utsun (Cowichan) initiative working to reconnect people with their traditional territory, says a press release for the festival.

Notable performers include Indigenous musicians Mob Bounce, DJ Kookum, Snotty Nose Rez Kids, See Monsters, and Just.

The line-up also features Hannah Epperson, Buckman Coe, Scott Dunbar, cozy, Staggers and Jaggs, Old.Soul.Rebel, Fiver and many more. Opening the Festival are the Quw’utsun Tzinquaw dancers.

In addition to music, the festival features workshops for all ages including vocal harmonization, Quw’utsun history, privilege and intersectionality, cedar weaving, drum making, a plant walk led by Quw’utsun elder Della Rice, plus games and crafts in the kids play area.

Organizers are happy to see this idea come to fruition.

“We want to bring people together to party for a purpose,” said Alex Schiebel, one of the festival organizers. “In our minds, art and politics are inseparable, and we saw this festival as an opportunity to further discussions around cultural identity, dispossession of land and resources, settler responsibility, and community building.”

The organizing collective is consulting with Quw’utsun (Cowichan) elders, traditional leadership, and Cowichan Tribes to ensure this gathering reflects proper protocols and is accessible to the local Indigenous community. All are welcome.

The festival is free to all Quw’utsun people and vendors in recognition of the fact that the event is taking place on unceded territory.

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