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National Aboriginal Day brings people together

National Aboriginal Day brings Indigenous and non-Indigenous people together to raise awareness.

Canadians from all walks of life celebrated across the nation on June 21st for National Aboriginal Day. Lloydminster’s Native Friendship Centre held activities throughout the day to inform and celebrate Indigenous people.

Lloydminster Friendship Board President Audrey Parke says the federal government giving aboriginal people a day is an honour because their contributions are being recognized and celebrated.

” We shared our land and whatever we had, well not we but our ancestors did and to be able to have that recognized that we contributed to the growth of the country and to what the country is today.”

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Vice President Marlene Gervais said the day is a good way to educate non-indigenous and indigenous youth who don’t know the protocol or the history.

“My own grandchildren they will say ‘what does this mean grandma? Why do they do this?’ so it’s a learning experience for everyone I believe”

Tipi raising was one of the many events shown throughout the day where each of the 13 poles had a meaning and prayers were said beforehand. There were Powwow dances, Native Flute and puppeteer performances among other activities showcasing the culture.

During the opening speeches, it was announced The Native Friendship Centre’s mortgage was officially paid off in February. The Centre has been located in the building on 49th ave since 1998.

Parke adds how awesome it is having a day to celebrate not only aboriginal people but the community coming together.

“it’s always a fun day to get people to come out from the community I mean we’re open to all people, not just aboriginal people here, we provide services to all people.”

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