Concerts, crafts, food and ceremonies planned across Manitoba for National Indigenous Peoples Day

Manitoba is home to Cree, Ojibway, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene, Métis and Inuit, and June 21 is a time when everyone is invited to celebrate and learn more about those who have were the first in this province.

National Indigenous Peoples Day will take place at the arrival of the summer solstice, bringing the longest day of the year – and the opportunity to look back thousands of years on our history.

CBC TV and CBC Gem will broadcast and stream a selection of Indigenous-led documentaries, films and series throughout the day and late into the evening on June 21.

There are also a number of local ways to get out into the community and experience the rich diversity of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples for yourself.


Head to the Exchange District for free family events, including live music from 20 Indigenous artists, food vendors, and crafts by Indigenous artisans.

Presented by Indigenous Music, the Nistumee Neepinee Keesikow concert takes place at Le Cube. Nistumee Neepinee Keesikow means first day of summer in the Swampy Cree dialect.

The full lineup and concert series schedule can be viewed on the Indigenous Music website or at the link above.

The Rady Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba is hosting an event at Mashkiki Gitigaan — Medicine Garden near 745 Bannatyne Ave.

It begins at 7am with the lighting of a sacred fire followed by a pipe ceremony at 7.30am. The official program begins at 10:30 a.m. with an opening prayer and a song of honor.

Teachings on the summer solstice and elders will take place, as well as addresses from various dignitaries, including Dr. Marcia Anderson, Associate Dean of Indigenous Health, Social Justice and Anti-Racism.

The Winnipeg Art Gallery is hosting a concert from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., featuring Fawn Wood, IVA, Uyaraqk, 2oolman and Leonard Sumner, plus a special surprise guest.

The performances take place at various times in the WAG-Qaumajuq, notably in the skylight and Ilipvik galleries, as well as on the roof.

Participation is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. Regular admission prices apply to all except Natives, who always have free access to the galleries.


A full day of entertainment and exhibits awaits with a teepee village, cultural and heritage exhibits, an Aboriginal artisan market, live entertainment including powwow demonstrations, square dancers, traditional drummers, throat singers and Métis performers, and food.

A children’s area offers traditional and modern games and crafts.


Celebrate traditional dance, song, art and food at MacLean Park.

MKO’s National Indigenous Peoples Day Planning Committee has planned a “Fun Day for the Whole Family” with opportunities to learn more about Indigenous Peoples and their contributions to Canada.

Bannock will be served at many Aboriginal Day events. (David Thurton/CBC)

A sunrise ceremony begins at 4:45 a.m., followed by a pancake and sausage breakfast at 9 a.m.

The day’s activities include a dunk tank, children’s activities and bouncy house, powwow demonstration, craft tables and teepees showcasing the cultural aspect of Indigenous peoples.

Free hot dogs will be served at noon.

Manitoba Metis Federation Events

Performances, artisans and demonstrations to celebrate Métis culture will take place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Admission is free and includes a bannock and stew dinner.

An opening prayer at 3 p.m. kicks off a whole series of events, including a community feast with stew, bannock and cake.

The day includes square dancing and jigging, children’s games, a silent auction and a 50/50 raffle. It all ends with a fireworks display at dusk.

Events include music, dancing, a silent auction and a free lunch with a burger or hot dog.

Activities begin at 10:00 a.m. with greetings from dignitaries and end at 4:00 p.m.

An afternoon of games and activities takes place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Activities include horseshoe throwing, slingshot precision, three legged racing, tug of war, bannock making, belt weaving, jigging, beading, fur and skin displays , horse and carriage rides and more.

The day begins with a sunrise ceremony at 5 a.m., followed by a complimentary pancake breakfast.

Live music, traditional dancing, bannock on a stick, a bead and fur showcase, and $5 stew and bannock will be featured throughout the day.

Breakfast will be served from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., followed by the opening ceremonies from 11 a.m. to noon.

The rest of the day’s events take place from 1-7pm, including a day full of music. Hot dogs and burgers will also be available.

About Elaine Morales

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