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Prince George celebrates National Indigenous Peoples Day 2022

Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park was filled with people celebrating the June 21 event

Despite the rain, the community including students from across School District No. 57 (SD57) filled Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day.

“We haven’t celebrated since COVID-19 so today is huge,” said Lheidli T’enneh Chief Dolleen Logan.  

The event was cancelled in an official capacity for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic but returned for an all-day event at Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park.

“We are going to celebrate fun, culture, dance, food, and the kids. This is the first time ever that SD57 has been involved and you can hear the joy coming from the park and they are just excited, and they want to learn. This is going to be a great day today even though its raining.”

The morning saw the park filled with raincoats, umbrellas, and backpacks as students and community members braved the rain and participated in drum circles and other cultural events.

“It is so good to see all the young people and all the older people who can handle all of this rain,” said Lheidli T’enneh Elder Darlene McIntosh during the opening prayer.

“We are in our traditional territories, and this used to be our village, so I want you to breathe that in and just imagine all of our ancestors here ready to participate and support what is taking place.”

After a welcoming from Chief Logan, various local leaders spoke about the special relationship Lheidli T’enneh has with the Prince George community.

“This is just a sample of what this community is all about, the multiculturalism that we have across this great city we have is something to be proud of,” said Prince George - Mackenzie MLA Mike Morris.

“The relationship that Chief Logan remarked upon was established years ago but has become stronger and stronger over time. Reconciliation is a significant task ahead of every single one of us. We are going to continue working hard on that to make sure reconciliation is achieved sooner than later here in Prince George and across Canada.”

Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall noted that June 21 is a day of celebration but also the recognition of the work that still needs to be done.

“Here we are today on June 21 celebrating but as I said it is not just today it’s understood the journey is tomorrow and Friday, Saturday, Sunday and continues on and that is why it is important that we look to those partnerships as the foundation of the work we have to do.”

While the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation is the official host of NIPD, the day was also filled with participation from other Nations in the region and from community partners such as the Prince George Native Friendship Center, the Prince George Metis Community Association, the City of Prince George, the Regional District, the Prince George Public Library, UNBC, CNC, School District 57, and many others.

The event included a full schedule of Indigenous artisans, musicians, drummers, dancers, activities for kids, Bannock and various food trucks.

The schedule was also extended with cultural activities and live entertainment going all the way from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. in the evening.

The intent was to provide opportunity for those who are working or unavailable during the day to still participate in the celebrations.

The live entertainment included local and national Indigenous performers such as Kym Gouchie, Joel West, Rick Stavely, the Old Fort Traditional Dancers, the Khast’an Drummers, and the UNHBC Drummers.