Here's how to mark National Indigenous Peoples Day in and around Waterloo region
Friday is National Indigenous Peoples Day and there a number of events taking place in and around Waterloo region.
The day begins with two sunrise ceremonies, there's a noon-hour event at the University of Waterloo and a celebration in Guelph in the evening.
At First Light will be hosted by TheMuseum in downtown Kitchener. It begins at 5:59 a.m. until about 8 a.m. It ceremony will be led by local fire keeper Al McDonad and local Haudenosaunee community member Fran Davis.
There will be music, dancing and coffee inside TheMuseum after the ceremony.
The Solstice Sunrise Ceremony will be hosted at the CIGI Campus Courtyard at 67 Erb St. W., in Waterloo. It begins at 7:30 a.m. and will be led by Elder Jean Becker and will feature singing and drumming by Cara Loft while Garrison McCleary will be the firekeeper. There is a wait list to attend this event, so you can sign up online at the CIGI website.
Morning and afternoon celebrations
Learn about traditional healing with Michelle Thomas at the White Owl Native Ancestry Association, located at 65 Hanson Ave. in Kitchener. Spots must be reserved.
There's an Indigenous Traditional Teaching and Meal at The Family Centre at 65 Hanson Ave., Kitchener starting at 9:30 a.m. led by Haudenosaunee artist Elizabeth Doxtater, who is from Six Nations of the Grand River.
Students from Eastwood Collegiate Institute in Kitchener have planned a celebration at the Kitchener Market from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It will include a Haudenosaunee dance group, vendors, workshops, exhibits and projects by students to show what they're doing in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Calls to Action. One of the workshops will be Faceless Dolls, where people will make a doll symbolic of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
There's an Indigenous placemaking in Waterloo region event at Fresh Ground at 256 King St. E. in Kitchener from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. It involves arts-based workshops for youth to create a digital and passport-style zine for tours around the region.
- Read more about the project on the Facebook event page
At 12 p.m., the Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre will host a celebration on the University of Waterloo campus. The event's MC will be Amy Smoke, and the firekeepers will be Tom Seeger and Andre Nault.
This event will also feature the drum groups Rez Boys and Blue Sky Singers, smoke dancing by the Davis Family and Hoop Dancing by Thaloks River Christie-White.
At 3 p.m., a celebration will be held in Waterloo Public Square. Throughout the day, artists Luke Swinson and August Swinson will be painting a temporary art piece for the day. The art will be completed ahead of a thanksgiving address at 4 p.m.
Where to celebrate in the evening
Edge of the Knife is a film by directors Gwaai Edenshaw and Helen Haig-Brown. It's set in the 19th century and performed entirely in the Haida language. It was an official selection at the Toronto International Film Festival and took home Best Canadian Film, Best B.C. Film and VIFF Most Popular Canadian Feature honours at the Vancouver International Film Festival.
- Apollo Cinema in Kitchener is showing the film starting at 7 p.m.
Guelph will play host to the National Celebration of First Nations, Inuit and Metis Peoples starting at 5:30 p.m. in Royal City Park, located at 139 Gordon St. There will be a traditional welcome, a drum circle, live music and dancing as well as food and craft vendors.
While in Guelph, you can also check out Indigenous exhibits at the Guelph Civic Museum: Decolonizing Guelph's Founding Story, Indigenizing Galt and Lacrosse: The Creator's Game.