Today is National Aboriginal Day!

June 21st is National Aboriginal Day*, a national day of recognition and celebration of the unique cultures of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, and their contributions to Canada!

Festivities in Ottawa will be held at Vincent Massey Park this week from June 21-24. Bring the whole family to this wonderful celebration recommended in the Capital Parent newspaper. Free Admission For ALL Events &
Programming. First Nations, Métis and Inuit people will gather to celebrate and share with spectacular dance, song and theatrical performances both contemporary and traditional that will bring you to your feet! Enjoy Aboriginal culture, art, singing, dancing and much more at Vincent Massey Park, as follows:

Summer Solstice Aboriginal Arts Festival June 21 – 24

The Summer Solstice Aboriginal Arts Festival has been providing families a unique opportunity to experience and celebrate the diverse Aboriginal cultures of the National Capital Region. For 15 years ongoing, lively and interactive programming will keep your family entertained throughout the day including extensive Family activities (Big Sky Ranch, pony rides, animal display, bouncy castles, Elephant Thoughts – giant glow in the dark planetarium, polar bear and human hamster balls + body zorbs! ) Aboriginal artisan village (featuring interactive arts workshops, demonstrations and vendors) and our popular Main Stage featuring Amanda Rheaume, Donny Parenteau, Crystal Shawanda, Leanne Goose, Vince Fontaine’s Indian city, Sagkeengs Finest (Canada’s Got Talent Winners), plus Aboriginal Canada We’ve Got Talent! and ongoing cultural showcases throughout the day.

International Competition PowWow June 22 – 24

A highlight not to be missed – 2nd Annual International Competition PowWow with over $65,000 in prizes. Host Drum, Bear Creak, will attract some of the best dancers and singers from all across Turtle Island (North America) for a competition not to be missed!! Throughout the weekend you will watch talented dancers of all ages carry on the traditions of their ancestors with ancient dance styles and celebrate the contemporary Native culture with spectacular colour and movement. For more information on these events visit: http://nadottawa.wordpress.com.

*On June 13, 1996, the Governor General of Canada proclaimed June 21st as National Aboriginal Day. Setting a day aside for Aboriginal peoples is part of the wider recognition of Aboriginal peoples’ important place within the fabric of Canada and their ongoing contributions as First Peoples. It is a day of celebration and an opportunity for all Canadians to learn more about Aboriginal people and their contributions. June 21st was chosen because of the cultural significance of the summer solstice (first day of summer and the longest day of the year), and because many Aboriginal groups mark this day as a time to celebrate their heritage. National Aboriginal Day events are held in every region across the country. June 21st kick starts the 11 days of “Celebrate Canada!” festivities, which includes National Aboriginal Day (June 21) and Saint Jean-Baptiste Day (June 24), Canadian Multicultural Day (June 27) and Canada Day (July 1).

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