Where to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day across the 3 territories

It's a statutory holiday in the Northwest Territories and in Yukon. There are events to celebrate Inuit, First Nation and Métis.

It's a statutory holiday in the Northwest Territories and in Yukon

People at Sombe Ke Civic Plaza in Yellowknife during the National Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations on Thursday. (Hilary Bird/CBC)

National Indigenous Peoples Day, formerly known as National Aboriginal Day, is June 21 and there are many events to celebrate First Nations, Inuit and Métis across the three territories.

It's also a statutory holiday in the Northwest Territories and in Yukon. Many communities celebrate their culture and heritage on or around the summer solstice — the longest day of the year. 

Here are some of the events taking place:

Northwest Territories

From 12 to 5 p.m. on Thursday the North Slave Métis Alliance is hosting 2018 National Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations at Sombe K'e Civic Plaza in Yellowknife.

It will be a day of traditional Métis, Inuit and First Nations culture, food, music and dance. There will also be a free fish fry and a stage show.

In Hay River there are several events happening across town. Starting at 11 a.m., the Katlodeeche First Nation is hosting canoe racing, axe throwing and a fish fry.

The Hay River Métis Government Council is having a free barbecue and live entertainment at noon at their offices at 10 Industrial Drive.

There is also a fish scale art workshop taking place between 2-4 p.m. at the recreation centre in Hay River for $20.

There are events from noon to midnight in Inuvik on Thursday at Jim Koe Park. The Gwich'in Tribal Council, Town of Inuvik and Inuvialuit Regional Corporation are among the hosts.

There will be a barbecue, an Arctic sports demonstration, a dancing and jigging contest, fire truck rides and performances by Inuvik drummers and dancers.

In Fort Smith, the Fort Smith Métis Council and Smith's Landing First Nation are holding events at noon at Roaring Rapids Hall. There will be a barbecue and the first annual pie eating contest.


The Kwanlin Dun First Nation and the Ta'an Kwach'an Council are hosting National Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations at the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre in Whitehorse.

It will be a day of food, entertainment, music and culture.

CBC North Radio One will be broadcasting live from the event between 11a.m. and 1 p.m. local time.

Whitehorse host James Miller and Yellowknife's Juanita Taylor will talk art, culture, music, politics and reconciliation.

In Burwash Landing, the Kluane First Nation is also hosting events and launching a wind turbine project.

Local singer Diyet will also launch her new record Diyet and the Love Soldiers before embarking on her Canadian tour.


There are events happening throughout the day in Iqaluit.

Starting at 11 a.m. there's a community barbecue with RCMP at Iqaluit Square.

From 1-4 p.m., the Elder's Qammaq drop-in centre is having a country food day for elders. After that there will be a craft fair at the same location from 4-6 p.m.