Winnipeg city hall, UManitoba celebrate Aboriginal Day on Friday

A prayer and smudging will kick off Aboriginal Day celebrations Friday in the courtyard at Winnipeg city hall.

Day will feature dance, music, tipi display, bake-offs, craft vendors, and cultural entertainment

National Aboriginal Day celebrations are happening around Winnipeg on Friday.

A prayer and smudging will kick off National Aboriginal Day celebrations Friday in the courtyard at Winnipeg city hall.

The events begin at 11:30 a.m. with a welcoming prayer and smudge teaching by elder Carol Moar, followed by statements from dignitaries.

There will also be dance, music and visual arts performers.

"National Aboriginal Day is a great opportunity for our community to come together and celebrate our First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples, whose rich culture, heritage, and traditions help make our growing city so vibrant," Mayor Brian Bowman stated in a press release.

"Winnipeg sits at the crossroads of an ancient aboriginal meeting place, and the City of Winnipeg is pleased to lead a celebration in honour of our indigenous peoples."

Events at U of M

The University of Manitoba is also hosting National Aboriginal Day celebrations on Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. at both the Fort Garry and Bannatyne campuses.

There will be live performances, a tipi display, bake-offs, craft vendors, cultural entertainment and a special activity in honour of residential school survivors.

At 11 a.m. in the foyer of Migizii Agamik – Bald Eagle Lodge, the U of M's Indigenous community and allies will honour the memory of residential school survivors by planting a Heart Garden.

Initiated by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and its partners, this project has planted 6,293 Heart Gardens across Canada to-date. Everyone is welcomed to decorate a heart to honour those lost to residential schools, the university stated in a news release.

The U of M's office of indigenous achievement and the indigenous student centre will provide supplies.

"In addition to being a time of celebration, National Aboriginal Day is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on our university's commitment to indigenous achievement and to remember survivors of residential schools as we work toward reconciliation," U of M president David Barnard stated in a press release.

"Through the sharing of indigenous knowledge, cultures and traditions across our campuses, we can create a richer learning environment and foster greater understanding between indigenous and non-indigenous community members — for both current and future generations."

More than 2,000 Indigenous students study at the U of M and there were more than 350 indigenous graduates this year.

The day's schedule of events includes:

  • Bannatyne Campus celebrations in partnership with the WRHA and HSC:

8:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.: Raising of the tipi and traditional pipe ceremony at the Medicine Garden of Indigenous Learning, located outside 750 Banntyne Ave.

10 a.m. – 2 p.m: Health program displays, 720 William Ave.

10 a.m. – 2 p.m. – Live-artists painting, craft vendors, opening remarks (11a.m.), food blessing, Brodie Centre Atrium, 727 McDermot Ave.

11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. – Cultural performers and feast, Brodie Centre Atrium, 727 McDermot Ave.

  • Fort Garry Campus celebrations:

11 a.m. – noon: Heart Garden, Migizii Agamik at Bald Eagle Lodge.

Noon – 1 p.m.: Lunch, Migizii Agamik at Bald Eagle Lodge.

1 p.m. – 2 p.m. – Bannock bake-off, Migizii Agamik at Bald Eagle Lodge.

All activities are free and everyone is welcome.


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