The North Slave Métis Alliance (NSMA) is hosting a free fish fry and stage show at the City of Yellowknife’s Somba K’e Civic Plaza in celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day.
National Indigenous Peoples Day has been a statutory holiday in the Northwest Territories since 2001.
“This is the day that the government of Canada has seen fit to honour and celebrate the profound contributions of the aboriginal peoples of Canada have made to the creation and construction of our great nation, Canada,” said Bill Enge president of NSMA, which represents Section 5 Aboriginal rights-bearing Métis on the northern side of Great Slave Lake.
“What could be more profound to the creation of this nation-state than the provision of very land that this country is founded on? Right from the genesis of the creation of Canada, to today, the aboriginal peoples have played a part in the historic development of this country. And so on Thursday, Canadians from coast to coast to coast are going to be acknowledging and celebrating the Aboriginal people’s contribution to the creation and maintenance of this country,” said Enge.
The NSMA organizes and sponsors the National Indigenous People’s day celebrations in Yellowknife at the Sombe Ke Civic Plaza across from City Hall.
“What the NSMA has done over the years is provide Yellowknifers and visitors alike to come down to the park and enjoy a day of Aboriginal culture in the form of a stage show, the demonstration of our songs and dances, as well as the provision of Aboriginal foods, namely Great Slave Lake whitefish,” Enge said.
There will also be corn on the cob, bannock, beverages and beans.
“All of this is free of charge as we want all of the visitors down there to enjoy a great day of celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day with a view to getting a taste of their culture and some of their food.”
Enge said this day is important to him personally because he is a Metis of the Northwest Territories.
“My very being and my identity is based on my Métis-ness,” said Enge.
“I come from a historic Métis people, the original, historic Metis community that came into being in the Great Slave Lake area, specifically the North Slave region over 200 years ago. So this very much is a part of who I am, and it’s a day for people like me to celebrate our aboriginal heritage and provide a day for other people to try to understand the aboriginal cultures, including what it means to be Métis.”
This celebration can only happen because of the financial support from sponsors and the help of volunteers.
“Without our volunteers we couldn’t have a national aboriginal day the way it’s evolved to what it is today,” said Enge.
The celebration will take place at Somba K’e Park on Thursday, June 21 from 12:00pm – 5:00pm.