Sabre-Anne Elkins

Sabre-Anne Elkins

Parade kicks off Aboriginal Day celebrations Thursday in Williams Lake

The whole community is invited to Aboriginal Day celebrations Thursday downtown, in Boitanio Park, and at Thompson River’s University.

Aboriginal Day is coming up Thursday, June 21 and the whole community is invited to participate in events taking place downtown and at Thompson River’s University.

The traditional Aboriginal Day Parade will kick off the events at 10 a.m. beginning at the corner of First Avenue and Oliver Street and proceeding along Oliver Street, then turning left on Eighth Street, on into Boitanio Park for more festivities.

Northern Shuswap Tribal Council co-organizer David Feil says the parade has developed into quite a large event over the past few years.

There will also be lots for families to see and do in Boitanio Park between 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

There will be face painting, crafts, games and big bouncy toys for the kids, plus dancing, drumming and more.

“There will also be a big talent show on stage with dancing, singing, poetry — quite a bit of variety,” Feil says.

Vendors will also be in the park selling traditional foods such as bannock and bannock tacos filled with chili and other good things, Feil says.

“If you’ve never had one you should come just for these,” Feil says.

Events will take place in Boitanio Park from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Up at Thompson Rivers University opening ceremonies start at 11:30 a.m. followed by a Tiny Tots fashion show and traditional Lehal tournament.

An elders luncheon will follow the children’s fashion show in the cafeteria.

A fashion show featuring aboriginal inspired fashions for adults starts at 3 p.m.

Punky Lake Wilderness Camp Society will also have games for children starting at 1 p.m. on the university field.

Festivities will also include a star blanket presentation at 1 p.m. in room 1190.

Ten years have passed since the federal government declared June 21 to be National Aboriginal Day in order to honour and celebrate Canada’s First Nations, Inuit and Métis. When Gov. Gen. Roméo LeBlanc signed the proclamation formally designating the day on June 13, 1996, he spoke about the important contributions that aboriginals have made in the country.


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