The Lloydminster Native Friendship Centre is working around the pandemic to mark National Indigenous Peoples Day.
Normally, the day celebrating the culture of Indigenous, Inuit and Métis peoples is June 21st, but as that is also Father’s Day this year, the Friendship Centre decided to hold it on Friday, June 19th. It’s also the first event the Friendship Centre has held in 2020.
Youth Coordinator Nicole Poitras says National Indigenous Peoples Day is especially important this year, and that’s why the event will go on.
“It’s just a nice day where we can celebrate our cultures, our differences, especially in what’s going on in the world today. We just hope what we do for Friday leaves people with a more positive feeling.”
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the usual barbecue will have “grab and go” pre-packaged Indian tacos, burgers, hot dogs. Traditional indigenous music will also be playing when people arrive. Even with the physical distancing rules, they’re hoping people come down to enjoy the food and atmosphere.
Poitras adds that the day holds a familial significance for her, in addition to a cultural one.
“My dad was Homer Poitras. He was the vice-president of [Métis Nation] Zone Two. He was actually in Hull, Quebec when the proclamation was signed with Governor-General Roméo LeBlanc. This actually is very good to my heart, and to my family. My older sister, Heather Poitras, has co-ordinated National Aboriginal Day in Edmonton for years, since it started.”
The event is free to attend and eat at, it begins at noon.