It’s the longest day of the year, and what better way to appreciate this new Canadian statutory holiday than to visit local First Nations and to be part of this national celebration and enjoy live music, artist demonstrations, traditional food, ceremonies and more.
Dawson City – Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation at Dänoja Zho Cultural Centre
Summer solstice is a busy time for Dawson City, with the city vibrating with events under the midnight sun. A showcase of local and visiting musicians, primarily fiddle players, including local Ecka Janus, will be performing. The cultural centre will be open to the public and there will be events for kids. Moosehide Gathering hosts a concession fundraiser with an affordable barbecue lunch.
- 11 a.m. – Fire light
- 11:30 a.m. – Food concession opens for lunch and snacks
- 12 p.m. – MC welcome and Elder prayer
- 12:10 p.m. – Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Hän Singers and Drummers
- 12:30 p.m. – Greeting from Chief Roberta Joseph; Greeting From Dawson City Mayor, Wayne Potoroka
- 12:50 p.m. – Music and entertainment. Fiddle and singer-songwriters in partnership with North Klondike Highway Music Society
- 2 p.m. – Dänojà Zho exhibits and films open
- 4 p.m. – Entertainment completed
- 4:30 p.m. Dänojà Zho closed for the day
- Events will be covered live on 106.9 FM CFYT Radio. Also, listen in online at cfyt.ca
Whitehorse – Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Ta’an Kwach’an Council at Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre
The National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre (KDCC) will be jam-packed with activities and programming. Kwanlin Dün First Nation, Ta’an Kwach’an Council and the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre are all partners in this celebration held in Whitehorse.
Opening ceremonies will begin at noon at the KDCC fire pit, with demonstrations and a local arts market along the Yukon River. Main-stage performances will span throughout the afternoon and evening and will feature dance groups from across the Yukon, as well as a variety of musical performances.
The Solstice Feast, sponsored by NorthwesTel, will kickoff after the opening ceremonies. This is a free feast open to all. The National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration at the KDCC is open to everyone. All are welcome.
Mayo – Na-Cho Nyak Dun First Nation at NND Government House
NND Government House, in Mayo, will play host to a number of performances and workshops throughout the day, and lunch and dinner will be provided. The themes for the 2018 Aboriginal Day celebration are the ruling of the Peel Watershed court case and honouring youth. At this year’s event, there will be a youth mural project with Northern Tutchone artist Lianne Charlie.
Haines Junction – Champagne and Aishihik First Nations at Da kų Cultural Centre
Champagne and Aishihik First Nations will again offer free stew and bannock to visitors who drop in to Da Kų Cultural Centre on National Aboriginal Day. Enjoy traditional foods while admiring the majestic backdrop of Kluane National Park. Stop in at the centre and learn about the pioneering First Nations in the Yukon.
- 11 a.m. – Stew and bannock
- 1 p.m. – Cake
- 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Mini Button Blanket Workshop
Come and enjoy events that recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of Aboriginal peoples across Canada, including the Yukon, on Thursday 21 June. For more information, contact the local First Nations at (867) 634-4200 or the cultural centre at (867) 634-3300.
National Aboriginal Day is celebrated in communities across the Yukon:
Carcross: Carcross Commons
Carmacks: Location varies each year
Dawson City: Dänoja Zho Cultural Centre
Haines Junction: Da kų “Our House” Cultural Centre
Mayo: NND Government House
Teslin: Teslin Tlingit Heritage Centre
Whitehorse: Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre