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‘Our people are still here’: National Indigenous Peoples Day marked in Manitoba

Indigenous history, culture, and resilience are being celebrated across Manitoba and Canada today.

National Indigenous Peoples Day events took place around Winnipeg on Friday. Multiple events allowed people to come together to learn about Indigenous culture.

“It’s important to recognize our culture, celebrate our culture, and come together,” said Shelley Anderson with Manitoba Moon Voices, an organization aimed at promoting the positive well-being of Indigenous Manitobans.

Manitoba Moon Voices were among the partners of an event called “Hey Cuzzin!” on Friday at the Broadway Neighbourhood Centre. Breakfast was served, and musical performances took place.

Louise McKay, knowledge keeper at the Women’s Health Centre, said 11 organizations partnered to connect the community during the event.

“It was a dream that started about four or five years ago, about bringing groups together, bringing organizations together to talk about reconciliation, not just talk about it, but to do something about reconciliation,” she said.

In Selkirk, the Manitoba Métis Federation held its annual Indigenous Peoples Day event focused on families.

“We started this 17 years ago, and we have maintained the freeness of everybody coming to enjoy time with their families,” said MMF President David Chartrand.

Métis musicians and jiggers performed in the park, while attendees could view displays related to Métis culture.

At The Forks, powwow dancers took centre stage, moving to the sound of drums during the event hosted by Wa-Say Healing Centre for the third consecutive year.

Wayne Mason Jr. with Wa-Say Healing Centre said people are celebrating resilience on June 21.

“When I say it’s a day of celebration, it’s about our ancestors, elders and grandparents and our aunts and uncles, who went to residential schools, who were taken from their families when they were four and stayed there until they were 18,” he said. “There were a lot of atrocities and trauma that took place in these schools.

“At one time, the agenda was to kill the Indian in the child, but our people are still here, they are still around, and it’s a day for us to take pride in that resilience.”

During the evening, a concert featuring Indigenous artists is scheduled to take over The Forks in the evening.

On June 22, Assiniboine Park Conservancy will host an Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration at Lyric Field and The Leaf.

Activities and entertainment take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and include food trucks, a market, fire teachings with Cree Crowchild and a number of musical performances.

A full schedule can be found on the Assiniboine Park Conservancy’s website. 

-with files from CTV’s Alexandra Holyk and Ainsley McPhail

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