A parade of drummers, spiritual leaders and more than 4,500 young aboriginal athletes made their way down Canada Avenue, the main street in Duncan, ending at the Si'em Le'lum Field where the ceremony was held.
Before passing through the field's red gates, each of the 23 teams requested permission from Cowichan Tribes Chief Lydia Hwitsum to enter Cowichan territory. Team B.C., the final team to enter, was greeted with raucous cheers from the crowd.
Organizers estimated more than 20,000 people filled the field to welcome the athletes.
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