June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day all across Canada and communities around the country, including Mission, are hosting events to celebrate.
The Mission Friendship Centre is holding a free event at Fraser River Heritage Park today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Everyone is welcome to attend and activities include traditional dancing by the Fraser Valley Drum Group, the Native Heart Drum Group, Teepee Teachings by Tony Soloman, a bannock competition, silent auction, picnic lunch, Slahal (a gambling game), vendors and more.
For more information about the event, call 604-826-1281.
About the day:
June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day. This is a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. The Canadian Constitution recognizes these three groups as Aboriginal peoples, also known as Indigenous peoples.
Although these groups share many similarities, they each have their own distinct heritage, language, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs.
In cooperation with Indigenous organizations, the Government of Canada chose June 21, the summer solstice, for National Aboriginal Day. On June 21, 2017, the Prime Minister issued a statement announcing the intention to rename this day National Indigenous Peoples Day.
For generations, many Indigenous peoples and communities have celebrated their culture and heritage on or near this day due to the significance of the summer solstice as the longest day of the year.
Originally, National Aboriginal Day was announced in 1996 by then Governor General of Canada, Roméo LeBlanc, through the proclamation declaring June 21 of each year as National Aboriginal Day. This was the result of consultations and statements of support for such a day made by various Indigenous groups.