National Indigenous Peoples Day is celebrated annually on June 21st, with the month of June recognized as Indigenous History Month. While the Welcoming the Sun celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day and the summer solstice was once again cancelled due to the pandemic we were able to commemorate the day with a small group of community friends and partners. Written by Heritage Interpreter Olivia G.
Local First Nations artist Christine Mackenzie of Sneaky Native Art and Matthew Dyck of Connections Community Services joined us on National Indigenous Peoples Day this past Monday June 21, 2021. Both spent the afternoon on site along with friends, colleagues and family to help share their knowledge, culture and traditions with visitors and passers-by. Matthew began the day with a smudging ceremony in front of the Cannery, and Christine set up a display of her fascinating collection of drums, hides, musical instruments and more for guests to view. She also demonstrated her wood-burning art technique used in the beautiful creation art piece currently on display in the Waves of Innovation exhibition. A mural designed by Christine and painted by community members at the 2019 Welcoming the Sun celebration (pictured above) was specially raised inside the museum, and remained up for the rest of Indigenous History Month.
All admissions collected on this day were donated to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society (irsss.ca) and the ELK Indigenous Program.
Also on June 21st, Matthew’s new podcast series “First Stories – Tales from Turtle Island” premiered. Check out the latest episodes here, featuring the voices of Indigenous storytellers from across the land. We thank Matthew and Christine for their continued generous support and sharing their Indigenous culture with our Cannery staff and visitors.