(ANNews) – About 1500 people made their way to Edmonton’s Borden Park on June 21 to celebrate National Aboriginal Day and to recognize the nation-wide summer solstice holiday’s 20th Anniversary. Hundreds of events took place throughout Alberta and beyond and once again Canadians came out in huge numbers to celebrate, honour and recognize the achievements and contributions of Canada’s Indigenous communities.
The Borden Park event, hosted by the Creating Hope Society (CHS), the Canadian Native Friendship Centre (CNFC), Edmonton Public School Board, Edmonton Catholic School District, Homeward Trust, and Edmonton’s Indigenous Relations Office, was an all-day celebration (10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.) that began with a Pipe Ceremony and ended with live entertainment from a variety of musicians and singers including Young Medicine, Daniel Gervais, Corbin Poitras, Marilyn Larouche, James Jones, the Stephanie Harpe Experience and others.
Emcee Ron Walker introduced the Host Drum, the Blackstone Singers immediately after the 11:00 a.m. Pipe Ceremony, and from that moment on the excitement of the day continued to build. Premier Rachel Notley made her way to the event and offered some encouraging words to the gathering before accommodating a dozen or more requests to participate in photo sessions with hosts, participants and onlookers anxious to have their pictures taken with the premier, who smiled broadly and seemed to enjoy the 40 minutes or so she spent talking to people at the event.
Alberta Native News writer John Copley attended the event; read his full story in the upcoming July issue of Alberta Native News. In the meantime we hope you enjoy these photos and the accompanying video.
Photo Gallery by John Copley