By: Alexander Gatensby
June 21st is National Indigenous Peoples day, and it’s second year running as a statutory holiday.
The moring of June 21st before Noon, locals and tourists alike gathered behind the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre at the fire pit, where Elder Dianne Smith kicked off the event with an opening prayer. MCs Teagyn Vallevand and Judy Gingell encouraged everybody to chant “Happy National Indigenous Peoples Day!” followed by a “Hoo HA!” before the crowd gathered inside the centre, where several leaders from around the Yukon spoke on the history and importance of this holiday.
“It is the day that we must stop and acknowledge our ancestors who continue to watch over us each and every day, and who make tremendous and undeniable impacts on this territories history.” Says Chief Dorris Bill in her speech. “it is a day we must give thanks and remembrance to all First Nations veterans for the many sacrifices they made for our country and our freedoms.”
Chief Dorris Bill, Delivering her Indigenous Peoples Day Speach
It is true that this is a very significant and important day for Indigenous people across Canada. Many people entered the Kwanlinn Dun Cultural Centre for their first time (Shown by show of hands), in anticipation of the festivities.
Happy Indigenous Peoples Day everyone!