Drum dancing under the midnight sun: Łı́ı́dlı̨ Kų́ę́ commemorates Treaty 11

Łı́ı́dlı̨ Kų́ę́ First Nation held commemorative events for the centennial anniversary of Treaty 11 over the past week.

'It's been really fun. I'm really enjoying myself,' said one man who drove in from Yellowknife

Drummers before the drum dance kicked off on Saturday evening. (Hannah Paulson/CBC News)

The sound of drums reverberated through the arbour in Fort Simpson, N.W.T., as people danced into the early hours of Saturday and Sunday morning. 

Łı́ı́dlı̨ Kų́ę́ First Nation hosted events to commemorate the centennial anniversary of Treaty 11. 

Drum dances were only one of the many activities planned for the past week. 

Inside the community's recreation centre, canvas tents were set up to hold activities, like elder discussions, a Dene photobooth, youth and adult talent shows, moosehide tanning workshops and creative workshops. 

People gathered in Fort Simpson from different areas, including Frank Hope, who drove up from Yellowknife. 

It's been awhile since he's been able to gather with everyone. He said he felt spiritually full after reconnecting, and speaking his language. 

"It's been really fun. I'm really enjoying myself," said Hope. 

Starting Wednesday, the community held drum dances every night. It was one of the first big gatherings since the pandemic started over a year ago. (Hannah Paulson/CBC News)
Jim Antoine by the fire with his drum between songs. (Hannah Paulson/CBC News)
A couple's drum dance is seen here. (Hannah Paulson/CBC News)
Martina Norwegian, middle, beading around seal hide at a beading table in Fort Simpson's rec centre. (Hannah Paulson/CBC News)
Jonathan Antoine taking a photo of Heather Atkins-Desjarlais and her daughter for the Dene photo booth. The canvas tent was filled with traditional items, like moosehide jackets, hide tanning tools and a moosehide in the background. (Hannah Paulson/CBC News)
Scout learns how to etch, press and print at a workshop table. (Hannah Paulson/CBC News)
Ria Letcher at the youth talent show. She's the organizer for Łı́ı́dlı̨ Kų́ę́'s Treaty 11 commemorative events. (Hannah Paulson/CBC News)
The drum dance winds to an end on Saturday evening, with a fire feeding ceremony held on Sunday morning to kick off the last day of events. (Hannah Paulson/CBC News)