Celebrating Indigenous Ways of Knowing

Sorrento Retreat and Conference Centre is situated on 24 acres of unceded territory of the Secwépemc peoples. For thousands of years, the Secwépemc First Nation stewarded this land, caring for it from generation to generation.

We acknowledge that the impacts of colonization are real and ongoing. Our organization wants to take a small role in the work of decolonization in being in relationship with local bands and supporting the wisdom of indigenous ways of knowing.

Our mission statement as being a place of transformation, healing and belonging means that our work involves deepening our relationship with the land and our indigenous neighbours. While Sorrento Retreat and Conference Centre’s programming is diverse throughout the year, indigenous ways of knowing and nature-based learning threads continue.

We hope you will join us in being transformed by local nature and rich indigenous culture.  


The Sacred Circle Part 2: Studies in the Medicine Wheel

The medicine wheel is a symbol of the universe and teaches us about reality and how all things are connected. It guides us through a wholistic understanding of our connectedness; for the gifts humanity has been given which are rooted in our ancient world cultures.  There is a resurgence and need for Medicine Wheel teachings... ...

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“In the stillness, I am the trees alive with singing. I am the sky everywhere at once. I am… the wind bearing stories across geographies and generations. I am the light everywhere descending. I am my heart evoking drum song. I am my spirit rising. In the smell of these sacred medicines burning, I am my prayers and my meditation, and I am time captured fully in this NOW. I am a traveler on a sacred journey through this one shining day.”

Richard Wagamese 

In October 2022 we were honoured to collaborate with the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council and Victoria Multifaith Society on a Mindfulness and Indigenous Law event.

Other creative collaborations to honour the land and its original stewards are underway with our indigenous neighbours. Following the legacy of Neskonlith elder, Dr. Mary Thomas, we have walked the land of the Centre with Bonnie Thomas and Valerie of Switzmalph Cultural Society to choose locations for plant signposts. Signs in Secwepemc and English will soon introduce plants, shrubs, and trees to our visitors.  We experienced a sense of wonder as edible plants were identified (Thimbleberry, Oregon grape) and wild flowers, including a deep burgundy wild ginger with an orchid-like appearance hidden underneath heart-shaped leaves on the forest floor. Our waterfront on Shuswap Lake is home to many birds and offers pristine views off the beach. Resident eagles and ospreys live alongside the loons and swans – so much bird life in addition to the many families that enjoy the beach during our summer programming.