Mike Archie will be at the High Bar Aboriginal Day in Clinton on June 21 to lead the group traditional singing and prayer. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Mike Archie will be at the High Bar Aboriginal Day in Clinton on June 21 to lead the group traditional singing and prayer. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Mike Archie will be at the High Bar Aboriginal Day in Clinton on June 21 to lead the group traditional singing and prayer. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press) Mike Archie will be at the High Bar Aboriginal Day in Clinton on June 21 to lead the group traditional singing and prayer. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Public invited to Indigenous Day events in Clinton and Canim Lake

National Indigeous Day set for Tuesday, June 21

Events are being planned at Canim Lake and Clinton for National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21.

The Canim Lake Band (Tsq’escenemc) will be hosting a National Indigenous Day at Eliza Archie Memorial School, starting at dawn with separate men’s and women’s sweathouses, followed by opening remarks and prayers at 10 a.m. and a series of events that include games, Elder storytelling, a mini-fishing derby, scavenger hunt and movie night. The event will wrap up at 9 p.m.

Joseph Archie, the band’s cultural enrichment coordinator, said they would like to make it an annual event.

“We should hold it every year and make it open to the public and non-Indigenous people to help them understand the culture, or something new they might not know about the Shuswap people,” he said.

In Clinton, the High Bar First Nation will also hold its first-ever Aboriginal Day.

Set for 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Reg Conn Park, the event will include former Canim Lake Band chief Mike Archie and his family, who will do a couple of dance demonstrations as well we lead the celebration in prayer and song, said Trina Hawkins, service coordinator for the HBFN.

“They’re going to lead us in the cultural part,” she said.

The day will also feature music by the Melawmen Collective – described as contemporary Indigenous alternative fusion – as well as by local Clinton resident Arlen Park. Information displays on the Big Bar slide, the High Bar’s archaeological department and the band’s heritage will on site.

A bannock competition will also be held at the event, along with a by-donation concession, with proceeds to be split between different causes such as National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Two-Spirit People and Orange Shirt Day. Interested vendors should contact Hawkins at 250-459-2117.

Hawkins said this is the first time they have held an aboriginal day because they haven’t previously had the staff to organize it.

Although they have 220 members, many of them are spread out as far as Vancouver and the U.S.

National Indigenous Peoples Day is a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. The Canadian Constitution recognizes these three groups as Aboriginal peoples, also known as Indigenous peoples.

Although these groups share many similarities, they each have their own distinct heritage, language, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs.

In cooperation with Indigenous organizations, the Government of Canada chose June 21, the summer solstice, for National Aboriginal Day, now known as National Indigenous Peoples Day. For generations, many Indigenous peoples and communities have celebrated their culture and heritage on or near this day due to the significance of the summer solstice as the longest day of the year.



kelly.sinoski@100milefreepress.net

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