National Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations planned in Vancouver, Burnaby, and Whistler

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      Summer officially kicks off on Tuesday (June 21), which also happens to be National Indigenous Peoples Day.

      There are many celebrations across the province, including one on Sunday (June 19) to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Skwachàys Lodge Aboriginal Hotel & Gallery, which is operated by Vancouver Native Housing Society. Taylor Street will be closed between West Pender Street and Keefer Place for performances by Native Thunder Productions, Tsatsu Staqayu Coastal Wolfpack, Urban Heiltsuk Dance Group, and Stars of the North Drum Group.

      From June 18 to 30, 15 Indigenous flags will fly at Vancouver City Hall. Those of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples will fly next to the City of Vancouver flag.

      The City of Burnaby is also honouring National Indigenous Peoples Day with several activities and events in Civic Square from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 21. They include an Indigenous artisan market, storytelling from Squamish Nation elder Kultsia Barb Wyss and Haida educator Kung Jaadee, and performances by the Tsleil-Waututh Warriors, Spakwus Slulem, and Nuu-chah-nulth and Kwakwaka’wakw spoken-word artist Valeen Jules.

      Up in Whistler, there will be live canoe carving, an artists market, and craft activities all day on June 21 at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre.

      Meanwhile, the Talking Stick Festival, which is in its 21st year, continues through to July 3. Billed as North America’s premier Indigenous arts and cultural festival, the organizer, Full Circle, is copresenting a new Indigenous contemporary dance work, La Mitchin di Mitchif, from June 19 to 21 in partnership with Compaigni V’ni Dansi.

      Co-choreographed by Yvonne Chartrand and Dancing Earth artistic director Rulan Tangen, it’s inspired by ancestral knowledge of Mitchif (Métis) plant medicines and takes place at the Scotiabank Dance Centre.