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National Aboriginal Day | Image Source:

For many of us, Aboriginal day is every day but June 21st is a special day that marks summer solstice and acknowledges the Indigenous roots of this country and brings people from all walks of life together to celebrate culture, history and heritage. This June 21st we are also celebrating the 20th anniversary of National Aboriginal Day in Canada. Here are some exciting events from coast to coast!

CALGARY – Family Day Festival & Pow Wow – “Keeping the Circle Strong” Celebrating our Children, Youth and Young Adults 

When: June 25th, 2016, 9:30 am – 9:00 pm
Where: New Indian Village, ENMAX PARK, Elbow River Pathway, Calgary, AB
What: Aboriginal Awareness Week Calgary in partnership with the Calgary Stampede hosts a free family friendly event with a Pow Wow, and live performances from DREZUS, Sagkeengs Finest, Silas Singers, and Asham Stompers.

GATINEAU – National Aboriginal History Day Presented by First Peoples Innovation Centre 

When: Sunday, June 19th, 2016, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Where: 100 Rue Gamelin, Gatineau, QC
What: This is a free event that is fun for the whole family. Featuring performances from drum group Screaming Eagles and Samian, a rapper who incorporates Algonquin language and French into his songs. There will be vendors selling traditional arts and crafts and a welcome from Grand Chief Verna Polson of the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation Tribal Council.

IQALUIT – Alianait Art Festival Presents a Free National Aboriginal Day Concert

When: June 21st, 2016, 7:00 pm
Where: Nakasuk School Gym, Building 601 Queen Elizabeth Way, Iqaluit, NU
What: Concert will feature live performances from singer-songwriter Calvin Pameolik, traditional Inuit music, throat singing, drum dancing, Daniel Kolola Band and fiddler Gustin Adjun.

Maamwi Kindaaswin Festival | Image source: North Bay Indian Friendship Centre
Maamwi Kindaaswin Festival | Image source: North Bay Indian Friendship Centre

NORTH BAY – North Bay Indian Friendship Centre’s Maamwi Kiindaaswin Fesitval & Pow Wow Celebration – “Honouring our Warriors”

When: June 17th, 2016, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm | June 18th &19th, 2016, 11:00 am – 8:00 pm
Where: Discovery North Bay Museum, 100 Ferguson Street, North Bay, ON
What: Friday, June 17th is Education Day and will feature workshops, presentations and guest speakers. The Pow Wow will take place on June 18th and 19th with sunrise ceremony at 4:30 am each day. Enjoy eating traditional Indigenous foods and checking out craft vendors. This event is free and all are welcome!

OTTAWA – Ottawa Summer Solstice Aboriginal Festival & Competition Pow Wow 

When: June 17th, 2016, 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm | June 18th, 10:00 am – 10:00 pm | June 19th, 2016, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Where: Vincent Massey Park, Ottawa, ON
What: Ottawa will attract dancers, singers, craft vendors and visitors from across the province celebrate Indigenous culture in the nations capital. If you’re in the Algonquin area this weekend you dont want to miss out! There will be a Family Fun Zone, Elders Storytelling and Tea Tent, Fire Hoop Dance, and an Art, Food and Fashion Marketplace and more! One highlight of any Pow Wow is Grand Entry at 12:00 pm, so dont be late and catch all the dancers in regalia on June 18th and 19th. . Connect on twitter @ottawasolstice #OttSolstice20

SARNIA – Aamjiwnaang First Nation 55th Annual Pow Wow – “Honouring Our Children”

When: June 18th & 19th, 2016, gates open at 10:00 am on both days
Where: 1972 Virgil Avenue, Sarnia, ON
What: Competition dancing and singing all weekend in Southern Ontario. Authentic Indigenous food and crafts will be for sale and camping is available for guests. Featured specials include Mens and Womens Smoke Dance as well as a Fathers Day Special!

SASKATOON – “ROCK YOUR ROOTS” – Walk for Reconciliation Saskatoon

When: June 22nd, 2016, 9:30 am gather and 10:30 am start
Where: Walkers meet at Victoria Park (17th Street West & Spadina Crescent West, Saskatoon, SK)
What: The Office of the Treaty Commissioner is hosting a walk for reconciliation. All are welcome and walkers are encouraged to wear traditional clothing and to bring items that symbolizes their cultures. The event will include a free BBQ lunch and participants have a chance to win prizes. Residential school survivors will be gifted with a t-shirt and golf carts will be available for those with mobility challenges.

South East Scarborough Pow Wow | Image Source: EJ Kwandibens
South East Scarborough Pow Wow | Image Source: EJ Kwandibens

SCARBOROUGH – South East Scarborough Pow Wow – “We are our Ancestors”

When: June 28th, 2016, 10:00 am – 5:30 pm
Where: Eastview Public School, 20 Waldock St, Scarborough, ON
What: Eastview Public School will be hosting a Pow Wow with a sunrise ceremony at 5:30 am, grand entry at 12:00 pm, children’s activities and a community feast at 5:00 pm. For more information email

THUNDER BAY – National Aboriginal Day Thunder Bay Event – “Celebrating Spirit of Family

When: June 21st, 2016, 11:00 am – 9:30 pm
Where: Prince Arthurs Landing (Marina Park), Sleeping Giant Pkwy, Thunder Bay, ON
What: Everyone is welcome to this free event in celebration of the heritage, culture and outstanding contributions of Indigenous peoples in Canada. A sunrise ceremony will take place at 5:45 am, Grand Entry and Pow Wow will start at 12:00 pm followed by a feast, giveaway and a live performance from Classic Roots.

TORONTO – Na-Me-Res Traditional Outdoor Pow Wow 

When: June 18th, 2016, 11:30 am – 5:30 pm
Where: 240 Fort York Blvd, Toronto, ON
What: Toronto can celebrate National Aboriginal Day with a community Pow Wow hosted by Native Men’s Residence. This free event will include a give-away, feast, kids area, craft and information booths.

TORONTO – 7th Annual Aboriginal History Month Celebration at Yonge and Dundas Square

When: June 23rd, 2016, 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Where: Yonge-Dundas Square, 1 Dundas St. E, Toronto, ON
What: Hosted by the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, this celebration will have an exciting lineup of live presentations including rock band Blackstone, a fashion show, Metis Jigging and more! Also look out for vendors and Indigenous agencies of Toronto showcasing what they are doing in the community.

VANCOUVER – National Aboriginal Day at Trout Lake

When: June 21st, 2016 | Friendship Centre Events 9:00 am – 11:00 am | Trout Lake Events 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Where: Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society, 1607 E Hastings St, Vancouver, BC Trout Lake Community Centre, 3360 Victoria Dr, Vancouver, BC
What: A pancake breakfast will be served to community members at 9:00 am at Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society (VAFCS) followed by a friendship walk from VAFCS to Trout Lake at 11:00 am. At Trout Lake there will be a canoe demonstration, an arts and crafts fair and a teepee village for families and children.

WINNIPEG – APTN Aboriginal Day Live

When: June 25th, 2016, 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
Where: The Forks, Winnipeg, MB
What: A full day of free and fun activities that are good for the whole family! Artisan & food vendors, cultural performances, APTN Kids Zone, Pow Wow, skateboard competition, evening concert, fireworks, storytelling, live art installations and more.

Stay in the loop with the MUSKRAT Event Listings page here.

Have an event you want posted on the MUSKRAT Calendar? Submit it for free on our DIY Events Calendar here!

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MUSKRAT Magazine

MUSKRAT is an on-line Indigenous arts, culture magazine that honours the connection between humans and our traditional ecological knowledge by exhibiting original works and critical commentary. MUSKRAT embraces both rural and urban settings and uses media arts, the Internet, and wireless technology to investigate and disseminate traditional knowledges in ways that inspire their reclamation.

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