Celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day 2023: A Day of Resilience, Culture, and Joy

June 21st holds great significance  across the nation as it marks National Indigenous Peoples Day. On this day, First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities, nations, and individuals come together in celebration, embracing their rich cultures, languages, and heritage. It’s an opportunity to showcase the true essence of Indigenous identity, serving  as a reminder of resilience and a testament to Indigenous joy.

“This year’s festivities are all about dispelling misconceptions and fostering a greater understanding of Indigenous cultures, promoting unity and respect among all communities,” says Salome Barker, First Light’s Festival and Events Specialist. “In an era where media representations sometimes perpetuate misconceptions about Indigenous people, National Indigenous Peoples Day 2023 offers a meaningful opportunity for positive transformation. This day encourages the recognition and appreciation of Indigenous achievements, while shifting the narrative towards celebration and empowerment. There will be something for everyone and the event is family friendly.”

First Light’s National Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations is an inclusive event where everyone is welcome to take part in the vibrant traditions of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Indigenous communities. It’s a day to forge new connections, learn about the diverse Indigenous cultures in the region, and honor the legacies that have shaped our collective heritage.

The day starts with a Sunrise Ceremony at 6am, held at Cavell Park. Following this at 2:30pm, the Techniplex (39 Churchill Ave) will come alive with captivating Family Friendly Performances featuring renowned artists such as Kilautiup Songuninga and many more. Prepare to be enthralled by the mesmerizing performances that showcase the artistic brilliance rooted in Indigenous culture. The festivities culminate in the vibrant community Mawio’mi, starting at 5pm. This gathering promises an array of activities, including delectable food, local vendors, engaging kids games, traditional hair braiding, drumming sessions, and awe-inspiring dance performances. The event is open to all, with no admission fee, emphasizing inclusivity and a warm welcome to individuals from all backgrounds.

National Indigenous Peoples Day 2023 is a time for celebration, unity, and the recognition of Indigenous voices and contributions. Join us on June 21st to embrace the spirit of resilience, culture, and joy that defines Indigenous communities in Newfoundland and Labrador. Together, let us commemorate this significant day and honor the rich tapestry of Indigenous heritage that enriches our nation.