There’s always a little something to remind us of the culture and history of Canada’s first people when National Indigenous Peoples Day arrives.
The June 21st celebration and recognition has witnessed three consecutive years of making an extra effort and making the day a community celebration, with a parade and Powwow inside the downtown’s Victoria Square. Last year saw the installation of a bench at the Four Fathers Memorial Library acknowledging the annual event, and this year saw a donation of books written by Indigenous authors added to the library’s collection, courtesy Indigenous and Northern Affairs and presented by the department’s Associate Regional Director General Rory O’Connor.
“National Indigenous Peoples Day was created this date twenty-two years ago to celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Metis people in Canada,” O’Connor said. “As a symbol of this important day we encourage reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people by sharing and education.”
Deputy Mayor Sheila Christie lauded the department, who took the lead in organizing this year’s events and strengthening its partnership with the town, its staff, and the community in celebrating Indigenous people.
“All of the different cultures play an integral part in our wellbeing and profile,” Christie said. “Today is an opportunity to learn about culture and the history of the Maliseet, the Mi’kmaq, Inuit and Metis.”
Following the opening ceremony and smudging of attendees the community joined dancers and drummers in parading from the library to Victoria Square where artisans showcased their work as traditional dances and drumming songs were performed.