By Jake Cardinal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
(ANNews) – Daily Indigenous life has been dark lately as the Residential School History of Canada has reared its ugly face into the mainstream. The recent mass-grave discovery at a Residential School in Kamloops, BC has been on every Canadian’s mind.
With Indigenous Peoples’ Day happening this Monday June 21, it is important as ever to support and celebrate current Indigenous projects and events in Canada.
Here are six Indigenous Day events happening in Alberta:
1. Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society’s Indigenous People’s Day Zoom Celebration
Bent Arrow is an Edmonton-based Society dedicated to providing assistance to urban Indigenous people in the form of employment, housing, youth services, and more.
On Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Bent Arrow is inviting everyone to take part in a virtual celebration. While the free Zoom tickets have all sold-out, the celebration is still going to be broadcasted via Facebook Live.
The celebration will include a smudge and prayer, dancing, motivational speaking from Darrell Brertton Jr, singing, and prizes among many other things.
The event is completely free and will run from 9 am to 12:45 pm. A Reddit Ask Me Anything featuring Executive Director Cheryl Whiskeyjack will also happen from 1 – 2 pm following the event.
2. Theatre-Artist Josh Languedoc is performing one-man show, Rocko and Nakoda.
Anishinaabe playwright and theatre artist Josh Languedoc is performing his one-man show, Rocko and Nakoda, on Indigenous Peoples’ Day, June 21 through to June 23.
The performance will be live-streamed on the Thousand Faces Festival Facebook page at 1 pm and 7 pm. The livestream will be broadcasted to 14 schools across Alberta and is expected to reach an audience of 3,000 students.
Rocko and Nakoda is a critically acclaimed show that has been toured by Languedoc across Canada in the Fringe Festival circuit.
“It’s my solo show. I play about 12 different characters and the story is about a very anxious boy’s journey back into finding internal strength,” said Languedoc.
3. Edmonton 2-Spirit Society Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration
The Edmonton 2-Spirit Society has also announced a virtual Indigenous Day celebration, to be live-streamed on Facebook and Instagram on June 21 at 6 pm MDT.
“On this day, E2S will be sharing some wonderful and exciting news with our community. We will also be honouring our people and our young 215 children found in Kamloops, 104 in Manitoba, and those yet to be found,” said the society.
The celebration will feature opening prayers, flag raising, singers/drummers, announcements, and a round-dance. The E2S will also be joined by the Water Warriors, Bear Clan Patrol, and the Crazy Indian Brotherhood.
“E2S will be honouring our young ones and sharing what we are undertaking to support our youth and how we will continue in welcoming them into the Sacred Circle,” said the society.
4. Primco Dene BBQ
For those located up North, Primco Dene is hosting a free BBQ and giving away free #everychildmatters T-shirts (while supplies last).
The BBQ is to be held outside of Cold Lake in the Petro Canada parking lot from 11 am to 1 pm.
There will be bannock burgers.
5. Aboriginal Awareness Week Calgary will be held virtually from June 21 to 26.
The theme of the AAWC event is “Keeping the Circle Strong” through traditional knowledge keepers and honouring modern day warriors to reflect the pride of First Nations, Metis and Inuit Circles. Family Day will be celebrated virtually on June 26, 2021 from noon to 6 pm with star studded performances by 2021 Juno Award Winner Crystal Shawanda, Logan Staats, CTV’s “The Launch” Winner 2019, and Grammy Award Nominated Host Drum: Northern Cree as well as local Indigenous artists live performances by Wyatt C. Louis and Lindsay Crowshoe.
6. APTN Indigenous Day Live broadcast on June 20 and 21
In celebration of the 25th National Indigenous Peoples Day, APTN invites you to welcome the summer solstice with a unique adaption of APTN Indigenous Day Live (IDL). On June 20, APTN will broadcast the IDL festivities from coast-to-coast-to coast at 8 pm ET.
APTN Indigenous Day Live 2021 pairs Indigenous artists with Canadian music icons for a refreshing line-up of collaborations in English, French and Indigenous languages. The multi-platform broadcast takes audiences across the country to stages in Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal and Dartmouth, N.S., to showcase and celebrate First Nations, Inuit and Métis cultures and milestones.
Join hosts Earl Wood and Janelle Wookey for IDL 2021, featuring performances by Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Tom Wilson, iskwē, Neon Dreams, Julian Taylor, Charlotte Cardin and more!
Sunday, June 20, 2021
8:00 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. ET
Monday, June 21, 2021 (encore)
aptn e/hd 2:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. ET
aptn w 2:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. MT
aptn n 2:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. CT
IDL 2021 will be available for free on APTN lumi from June 20 at 8 p.m. ET until June 22 at 8 p.m. ET. The broadcast will then be available with an APTN lumi membership.