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Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival celebrating big this year

The Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival (SSIF) kicks off Friday to celebrate artists, performers and Canada’s diverse Indigenous cultures.

The festival is free. It will take place between June 21 and 23 at Mādahòkì Farm, which is an Indigenous gathering place, working farm and cultural attraction.

The party is going to be big this year with a drone show, a glow-in-the-dark Pow Wow and a Pow Wow competition, Trina Simard, CEO of Indigenous experiences and artistic director for SSIF told CTV Morning Live Wednesday.

“We’re so excited. We have three days of national programming. We’ve added a lot on National Indigenous People’s Day,” she said.

Speaking of the drone show, which is scheduled for 10 p.m. Saturday night, she says there’s going to be 250 drones.

“And they’re basically sharing our Seven Grandfather Teachings and all the animals that relate to that. You’ll see bison walking across the sky, eagles flying,” she added.

A glow-in-the-dark Pow Wow dance party will take place Friday night to celebrate National Indigenous People’s Day.

Here’s the schedule of Indigenous Day Celebration on Friday:

• Traditional long table dinner (two seatings) – feast prepared by chef Tawnya Brant of 6 Nations of the Grand River – live performance by Logan Staats

• Glow-in-the-dark Pow Wow with DJ Shub

• Host drum – Northern Cree

• Ojibwe spirit horses – interactive equine assisted learning with Rhonda Snow

• Mādahòkì marketplace- Indigenous makers and farmers market

• All day cultural entertainment on the celebration stage including hoop dancing, Inuit throat singers and jiggers

• Métis games (hatchet throwing and archery)

• Culinary and creative workshops including birch bark wigwam and canoe building demonstrations

• Free family programming, including a climbing wall and farm play – little animals, hay bales, Birds of Prey, Inukshuk building

The festival says on its website while there is no public parking at the farm, there’s a free park and ride shuttle service from Algonquin College. It runs every 30 minutes. More information is available online.

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