National Aboriginal Day

We are looking forward to celebrating Indigenous Awareness Week. There are lots of unique experiences of Indigenous culture to be shared on our region.

June 21 is National Aboriginal 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. 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. Appreciation of cultural history informs the next generation.

All Alberta students in grade four study plants as part of the science program of studies. They learn the parts of plants, what plants need to grow, how seeds are distributed and what is needed to complete the life cycle. The students from Aahsaopi Elementary School, located on the Kainai Reserve west of Lethbridge, expanded their learning to include the Niitsitapii or Blackfoot understanding of plants.

With the guidance of their teacher the students gathered traditional knowledge of plants from Elders in the community. The students listen to stories from the Elders are taken out onto the land to find and identify the plants. They learn how and when to gather the plants and how they were used.

On Wed JUN 21 from 1-4:30 pm, please join us for National Aboriginal Day at Fort Whoop-Up. We will celebrate with Métis Storytelling, a Scavenger Hunt, Blackfoot Stories with Blanche Bruisedhead, a mini powwow from 2–3:30 pm, a hoop dancer and a kid’s activity tables. We will be serving some traditional foods. The event, funded in part by Heritage Canada, is for all Ages with Free Admission.