This Saturday, June 21st, Canadians across the country will be celebrating National Aboriginal Day. In addition to being its own celebration, the 21st is also the day which kicks off the 11 day Celebrate Canada! event. Other events which will occur during this period include Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day (June 24), Canadian Multiculturalism Day (June 27), and, at the end on the 11th day, Canada Day (July 1).
But, getting back to Aboriginal Day; this is an annual event which dates back to 1996 and is used to highlight and celebrate the heritage, cultures, and achievements of First Nations, Inuit, and Metis peoples across Canada. The predominant aboriginal groups in the British Columbia include (divided by language group):
- Coast Salish
- North Straits Salish-speaking
- Southern Wakashan
- Northern Wakashan
- Inland Tinglit
- Interior Salish
Obviously there are numerous smaller groups which self-identify within these larger clusters as well as small groups belonging to other language groups, but these are the predominant, over-encompassing, groups in British Columbia.
There are a huge number of events taking place across the whole of Canada in recognition of this day, but some of the ones in B.C. include:
- the 15th annual National Aboriginal Day Celebration in Burns Lake
- the 12th annual Aboriginal/Cultural Day Celebration in Campbell River
- All Our Relations – Celebrating National Aboriginal Day in Kamloops
- the 2014 Metis National Aboriginal Day Metis Celebration in Kelowna
- National Aboriginal Day Celebration in Maple Ridge
- Aboriginal Day Celebration Event in Nanaimo
- Time to Celebrate-Hiellen Longhouse Village Totem Raising and Blowhole Boardwalk-Naikoon Provincial Park in the Old Massett Village
- Honoring the Tsawwassen People in Tsawwassen
- National Aboriginal Day Celebration in Vancouver
These are only a small handful of the events being offered this weekend. In fact, most places have at least one while larger areas (like Vancouver) have a number to choose from.
For additional options, or for more information on the events listed above, please follow the link to the Government of Canada’s National Aboriginal Day Events Page.
Hope everyone has an excellent weekend!