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National Indigenous Peoples Day festivities set for June 21

Lheidli T’enneh Chief Clayton Pountney

This year’s National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration is being hosted by the Lheidli T’enneh, in partnership with Heatwave Celebrate Cultures, a three-day multicultural extravaganza of music, dance, and authentic cultural displays, a variety of artisans, info booths and will also feature free cultural workshops.

National Indigenous Peoples Day is held annually on the summer solstice where everyone is welcomed to gather in celebration of the strength and creativity of Indigenous People of Canada.

Along with the music, singing, drumming and dancing, this year’s event will feature Indigenous chainsaw carver Randy Gauthier, totem pole carver Len Paquette as well as a variety of cultural workshops. There will be plenty of children’s activities, food tents and much, much more.

The activities kick off at the Lheidl T’enneh Memorial Park on Friday, June 21 at 11 a.m. and will go until 4 p.m. and then move over to the Canada Games Plaza at 7 p.m. to join in the Heatwave Celebrate Cultures event.

“We wanted to showcase more than just Lheidli history and culture during this year’s national day of recognition for Indigenous Peoples across Canada,” said Lheidli arts and culture coordinator Kym Gouchie. “Prince George is home to people from more than 40 Indigenous communities and nations and it’s important that while they reside on our territory, we recognize their contribution to the community and enrichment of our lands. Indigenous culture is so much more than music, drumming and dancing. We are carvers, storytellers, teachers of traditional arts and craft, and we enjoy sharing our traditional foods. We invite everyone to come down to Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park on June 21 and share in the fun, learning and community.”

“What’s exciting about this year’s National Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations is that they are part of a larger festival called ‘Heatwave,'” said Chief Clay Pountney. “Our nation, the City of Prince George and other community groups and sponsors have teamed up to host a three-day event to celebrate cultures, celebrate summer solstice and celebrate that our community is unique in being home to people from so many different indigenous nations and from countries around the world. Heatwave gets started on Friday night in Canada Games Plaza after our event in the park concludes. The really great news is that much of the entertainment through Heatwave are indigenous musicians and performers. Events like Heatwave are what make Prince George a special community and we’re proud to be the Host First Nation.”

More details about the National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration and Heatwave can be found at www.celebratepg.com.

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