Quebec Culture and Communications Minister Nathalie Roy speaks at a news conference in Quebec City on June 10, 2021. The Montreal First People's Festival is back until Aug. 11 at the Place des Festivals and other locations in the city, a year after most Indigenous events such as powwows were put off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

Indigenous festival back in Montreal, a year after being delayed due to COVID-19

MONTREAL — The Montreal First Peoples’ Festival is back until Aug. 11 at the Place des Festivals and other locations in the city, a year after most Indigenous events such as powwows were put off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 31st edition is showcasing a series of local music, dance shows and more than 60 movies competing as part of the festival’s Mattiusi Awards.

Quebec announced $370,000 earlier this month for the festival with the aim of supporting the tourism and creative sectors that have been under financial pressure over the last year.

Indigenous Affairs Minister Ian Lafrenière said in a statement that Montreal First Peoples’ Festival comes at a time when the entire country is awakening to Indigenous realities and issues.

An exhibition on Montreal’s famous Sainte-Catherine Street representing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples will also be launched on International Day of Indigenous Peoples, Aug. 9, as part of the festival.

Culture Minister Nathalie Roy said the festival promotes better knowledge of Indigenous traditions, values and arts.