Few places in Canada celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day the way the North does. If you are lucky enough to have the day off, here are some places you can celebrate the day in Yellowknife and Hay River.
In Yellowknife’s Somba K’e Civic Plaza the North Slave Metis Alliance is hosting a free fish fry and stage show from noon to 5 p.m. Taking the stage will be Dene drummers, Inuit throat singers, Metis jiggers, fiddlers and other musicians.
On the menu are white fish, bannock, corn on the cob and beans. Arts and crafts tables will be displaying beading, birch bark baskets, hair tufting, painting and carving.
In Hay River, the K’atl’odeeche First Nation is serving up a full day of culture, sport and food starting with a free pancake breakfast at the Chief Lamalice Complex from 8 to 10 a.m.
A parade from the complex to the Arbour will start at 11 a.m. followed by youth and adult games including canoe races, axe throwing, log splitting, archery and two-legged races. The games are free to partake in and will include cash prizes for winners, although they are first-come-first-served and spots are limited so get there early to take part.
If you’ve always wanted to learn a new skill, you don’t want to miss the interactive traditional skills from 1 to 4 p.m. at KFN. On display will be storytelling, bannock making, drumming, dry meat making, crafts and fish fileting.
At 5 p.m. a community fish fry will start and live music by Linda Duford and the Big River Band will be on at the Arbour.
All events at KFN are free and open to the public, although organizers say you should bring cash in case you want to pick up some of the fare young people are serving up as part of their Bannock Burger Campaign including bannock burgers, Indian tacos and taco in a bag.
Also in Hay River, the Metis Government Council is hosting a free barbecue at 10 Industrial Drive starting at noon. Face painting and other children’s activities will be happening, as well as live music and a chance to perform if you’re feeling up for it.