Morinville celebrates National Indigenous Peoples Day

Above: The Yellowbird family, along with the Kipohtakaw Singers, demonstrate traditional dance at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre during National Indigenous Peoples Day on Wed. June 21. – Stephen Dafoe Photos

photos by Stephen Dafoe

National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada is celebrated annually on Jun. 21. It is a day to recognize and honour the diverse cultures, histories, and contributions of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples in Canada. This day provides an opportunity to learn about Indigenous communities’ rich traditions and heritage and celebrate their ongoing presence and resilience. National Indigenous Peoples Day, first proclaimed in 1996, has since become an essential occasion for cultural events, ceremonies, and gatherings nationwide.

Morinville held National Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre (MCCC) and Town Hall.

The MCCC had Tee Pee Teachings in the early morning and a formal celebration with Indigenous drummers and dancers. Emcee Sarah Hall, Alexander First Nation Chief George Arcand Jr., Morinville Mayor Simon Boersma, and Sturgeon County Mayor Alanna Hnatiw all spoke of the importance of the day in terms of a step toward reconciliation and building relationships between Alexander First Nation and the two municipalities.

The Kipohtakaw Singers joined the Yellowbird family in demonstrating indigenous song and dance. Traditional and fancy dance styles and a drum dance by a guest dancer from Nunavut were demonstrated for students and adults who attended the celebration.

Representatives from Alexander First Nation and Morinville Town Council gathered at 1 p.m. to permanently raise the Treaty 6 flag above Town Hall. The Kipohtakaw Singers performed flag, victory, and honour songs during the celebration.

Treaty Six is one of the historic agreements made between the Indigenous peoples of Canada and the Canadian government. It was signed on Aug. 23, 1876, near Fort Carlton in present-day Saskatchewan. The treaty involved several Plains Cree, Assiniboine, and other First Nations bands.

The Treaty 6 flag will fly permanently above Town Hall along with the national, provincial and town flags.

Below are some photos from Tuesday’s morning celebration

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