Aboriginal Day celebrations

All are welcome to join in for National Aboriginal Day celebrations taking place at various locations in Red Deer from June 18 to July 1.

All are welcome to join in for National Aboriginal Day celebrations taking place at various locations in Red Deer from June 18 to July 1.

Festivities kick off with the Red Deer Native Friendship Society’s Walk for Friendship and youth program fundraiser on June 18. The walk begins at the Native Friendship Society, suite one at 4814 50th St., at 3 p.m.

It will end at Rotary Park.

Participants are encouraged to collect pledges and donations. All proceeds go towards sending local youth to Dreamcatcher, an aboriginal conference in Edmonton in October.

The official National Aboriginal Day, June 21, will see a series of events in City Hall Park. A teepee raising takes place at dawn, followed by prayers, an honour song and the reading of the National Aboriginal Day Proclamation from 1996 at 10 a.m. Games, live music, displays and cake will be ongoing until 3 p.m.

An Aboriginal Showcase takes place on June 24 at Rotary Park from noon until 4 p.m. First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples will gather to share their stories, traditional games, dances and songs with each other and the general public.

A community potluck picnic will start at noon. Bring your favourite dish and a lawn chair.

Day events will include an all-tribes drumming circle, Métis jiggers, a pow wow dance demonstration and music from Duster and Tim Buckley.

The Red Deer Aboriginal Employment Centre will be hosting an open house on June 27 at its location in suite 202 at 4909 48th St. Members of the public can see student achievements and learn more about employment and skills programs.

There will also be a Métis celebration open house on June 27 at Shining Mountains Living Community Services at 4925 46th St. from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Ending the week-long celebrations is a community gathering at Bower Ponds on July 1 to celebrate Canada Day.

All events are free and family-oriented. No alcohol is permitted.

For more information, contact Eleanor Gouchey at 403-346-9794 or Janelle Small at 403-340-0020.

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