This Mother’s Day Walk for Peace, May 13 marks the 29th consecutive year that American and Canadian peace activists have meet at the Osoyoos-Oroville border park.
They meet to share stories, to sing, to renew old acquaintance, to welcome new friends and to celebrate their continuing peace and justice activities in their home communities.
It all started in 1983 when some South Okanagan and Similkameen activist opposed to U.S. Cruise Missile Testing at Cold Lake in Alberta created a mock up of the missile and arranged to deliver it to American friends at the border.
The Americans took “the missile” to the Boeing plant in Seattle and created a ruckus outside the gates in an effort to deliver if from the Canadians.
Since then, the Canadians and Americans have made The Mother’s Day Walk an annual observance.
Both Canadian and American customs authorities have been consistently helpful over the years, right though the recent heightened security established since the 2011 attack on the World Trade Centre in New York. Uniformed border guards keep a friendly and watchful eye on the proceedings.
A large group from the Doukhobor community in Kootenay Boundary attend every Mother’s Day walk.
Numerous American and Canadian politicians have made the trek over the years and Southern Interior MP, Alex Atamanenko who is fluent in French, Russian and English will be there to speak.
The Americans meet at the Oroville Library at noon to walk to the border.
Canadians meet at the parking lot at Haynes Point Provincial Park at 1 p.m. for the walk.
Participants are encouraged to bring an umbrella for sun or rain, a seat for themselves, water, a snack and a song or a poem to share with the assembly.
The celebration begins at 2 p.m.
For more information call 250-499-5417 in the Okanagan-Similkameen, 250-442-7495 in the Kootenay Boundary and 509-476-4072 in the U.S. Okonogan.