As we head into the summer months, the season of festivals and celebrations is upon us, and the annual National Aboriginal Day Festival presented by the Akisqnuknik Development Corporation (ADC) returns on Saturday (June 16) at Lakeshore Resort and Campground.
“I think it’s a good family event, you can come and spend the whole day with us,” said Lillian Rose, ADC President.
Starting at 11 a.m., the festival offers a wide range of activities and events for the entire family. This year’s theme is “Culture in Contact,” and guest speaker Keith Henry, CEO of the Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia, will be speaking about aboriginal tourism and the benefits it brings to the community. Returning MC and popular storyteller Joe Pierre Jr. will also make an appearance this year, sharing his captivating stories of the Ktunaxa people.
The rest of the festival features everything from demonstrations in flint-knapping to expressive dancers and entertainers. The internationally-known Le-La-La dancers have travelled the world as Canadian and aboriginal ambassadors performing their unique cultural dances, and hip hop artist Tristan Lefthand will be performing throughout the day.
Rose said the festival has grown every year that they’ve held it — an initial audience of about 300 ballooned to over 700 last year.
“We’re really excited about more people coming and joining us, we’re going to have a good time,” Rose said.
There will also be a full complement of exhibits, food and drink vendors, face painting for the kids and door prizes for this free festival, and Rose said it’s also a great opportunity for some of the younger kids to come and make Father’s Day presents at one of the arts and craft stations.
“The aim of the festival is positive public education, where we can share and celebrate our aboriginal contribution to Canada,” she said.