To honour the important role First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities have in Canada, June was declared National Aboriginal History Month. Many events are taking place celebrating aboriginal heritage, from music and culture festivities to places where Canadians can learn more about aboriginal history. Here are five events across Canada that are worth checking out.
Klahowya Village, Vancouver
Beginning June 21, visitors can head to Klahowya Village in Stanley Park, where they become immersed in aboriginal culture. Visitors can buy trinkets and artwork at the artisan marketplace, or watch craft demonstrations by artists. Close to the village, take a ride on the Spirit Catcher Miniature Train that travels through Stanley Park, and learn about an aboriginal legend. The village remains open until Sept. 1.
Wascana Park, Regina
Enjoy an opening ceremony, traditional food, songs, dances and even professional wrestling as part of the National Aboriginal Day celebration on June 21. Around 20,000 people are expected to attend the event, with activities for all ages.
Yonge and Dundas Square, Toronto
If you’re in downtown Toronto on June 26, head over to Yonge and Dundas Square for festivities rejoicing in aboriginal culture. Along with craft vendors and a children's arts and crafts tent, there will be musical performances from Digging Roots and Derek Miller.
Canadian Museum of History, Gatineau, Que.
It's a sombre exhibit recalling a time in history that every Canadian should know about. The exhibition 100 Years of Loss — The Residential School System in Canada features photographs, artworks and documents that give visitors insight into a difficult, devastating past when thousands of First Nation, Inuit and Métis children were taken from their homes and institutionalized in residential schools. The exhibit runs until June 29.
Enjoy the sights and sounds as you party by the waterfront. This Friday, the sound of Mi’kmaq drums fills the air and the lighting of the sacred fire takes place. Get up early on Saturday for the sunrise ceremony, celebrating the start of the summer solstice and National Aboriginal Day. After a day of activities, including basket weaving, storytelling and traditional games, the evening ends with a live concert that includes musical acts by A Tribe Called Red and Ashley MacIsaac.