A Celebration of Culture and Tradition
Every year, thousands of people participate in the regional celebrations of National Indigenous Peoples Day. On June 21, 2019 a huge number of attendees gathered at Royal Roads University following the ceremonial canoe crossing in the Inner Harbour. The events took place on the traditional lands of the Xwsepsum (Esquimalt) and Lkwungen (Songhees) ancestors and families. And on the summer solstice which is an important cultural time of year for First Nations.
The festival took place on the forested grounds of Royal Roads University, overlooking Esquimalt Lagoon and the Olympic Mountains. The fields were filled with children and youth playing games and learning traditional skills; exploring crafts and historical displays, and sampling traditional foods.
The air was filled with the sound of drums and singing and laughter. What a beautiful and moving experience. The festival grows in popularity year after year. Highlights were the canoe challenge, children’s field games, vendors market, an enormous white teepee and trappers hut.
“It’s a great day in June to remind ourselves of how fortunate we are to live here on the unceded territory of Indigenous people.” Premier John Horgan