With National Aboriginal Day just around the corner, people across the city are getting ready to celebrate.

Hundreds took part in an Aboriginal event that included blessings and traditional dance performances at the City Centre Mall Thursday.

Mayor Don Iveson was on hand, speaking about the importance of the year of reconciliation he declared in March during the Truth and Reconciliation hearings.

Iveson also said it was important to make Edmonton a more inclusive city.

“We have a lot of work to do to ensure that First Nations, Métis and Inuit people are fully included in the success Edmontonians enjoy,” he said. “We’ll have the opportunity to reflect on National Aboriginal Day of the important contributions that Indigenous people have made.”

Adrian LaChance, an Aboriginal artist who helped run the event Thursday, says the support from the city means a lot.

“I think the healing is going to continue for a long time,” he said. “It’s really great to see the mayor step up and say, you know what we need to continue focusing on this and help the people heal. For me, it’s a great opportunity to be a part of that. It’s a great honour.”

National Aboriginal Day is on Saturday. Celebrations will run at Churchill Square from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.