With a few very dedicated Canadian advocates for the indigenous cause within our Sinchi network, we’ve taken some time to get more acquainted with Canada’s national Aboriginal Day this past week. National Aboriginal Day takes place on the 21st of june every year since 1996. Why 21st of june? … Because it’s the summer solstice and if there’s one thing the great variety of indigenous groups in this large country have in common, it’s the celebration of the longest day of the year as a part of their cultural heritage. The purpose of this day is exactly that: the celebration of the rich and various cultures of the Metis, Inuit and First People. Apart from that, (local) governments and organizations ask attention for the advancement of reconciliation between indigenous communities and the rest of the Canadian population, by organizing events that document and portray important aspects of indigenous history and culture and bring people together.
For example, the Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival in Ottawa hosted a pow wow competition this year and the dancers looked amazing. Pow wow literally means “spiritual leader”, set up as a circle for the musicians and dancers to go around in traditional and ornamented dress. The inner circle is the dance arena, the second circle consist of drummers, masters of ceremony and sitting areas for friends and families to relax and enjoy the show. The outer circles are for spectators and vendors.
This is what the dancers at Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival 2017 looked like: