Aboriginal Awareness Week Calgary

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Oki, Tansi, Danit’ada, Aba-wath-tech, Paarutit, Hello!

In the early 1990’s, Indigenous agencies serving the Indigenous community in Calgary began organizing events and celebrations during the week leading up to National Indigenous Peoples Day, held annually on June 21. The summer solstice is a culturally significant day for many Indigenous peoples and is now acknowledged by celebrations held in towns, cities and reserves across Canada.

For the past several years, our event was hosted at the Calgary Stampede where the Elbow River Camp is now located. This year, 2019, we are moving to Fort Calgary, named by the North West Mounted Police in 1876. Since time immemorial, tribes would meet for trading on the site known as “Moh’kins’tsis” for the Niitsitapi, “Wincheesh-pah” for the Ĩyãħé Nakoda, “Otos’kwunee” for the Nēhiyawēwin, and “Kootsisaw” for the Tsuut’ina peoples, all referring to the ‘elbow’ or the meeting of two rivers. By highlighting this living history with our continued presence, we are looking forward to keeping the culture and language alive and strong for many years to come.

We anticipate elders, chiefs, dignitaries, Indigenous celebrities, corporate Calgary, and many other members of our Indigenous community to attend. Last year’s attendance throughout the day and evening was roughly 2000 individuals. In 2019 we are taking on a different twist to the event, which will bring in many more people.

As always, we will continue to host the Caravan pancake breakfast starting off our day at 9 a.m. along with the Family Day activities for all ages. From 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. is the annual traditional powwow where Sorrel Rider (Siksika) is participating as the lead host drum.

Ultimately we are excited to be showcasing our local Indigenous talent by working together with all neighbouring organizations who are celebrating in the month of June. We hope to see you in the crowd!

In friendship,
The Aboriginal Awareness Week Calgary Committee

National Indigenous Peoples Day – June 21

In 1996, former Governor General, The Right Honourable Roméo LeBlanc, proclaimed June 21 to be National Aboriginal Day.  This day provides an opportunity to acknowledge the unique achievements of First Nations, Métis and Inuit in fields as diverse as agriculture, the environment, business and the arts.

June 21 marks the summer solstice; traditionally many Aboriginal cultures have held celebrations on or around this day.  Join thousands of Canadians across the country on June 21 to celebrate these distinct and diverse cultures, languages, traditions and spiritual beliefs.

On June 21, 2017, the Prime Minister issued a statement announcing the intention to rename this day National Indigenous Peoples Day.

AAWC Structure & Committees
The Steering Committee is the structure by which all final decisions are made regarding what events will be hosted during the week of June 21st.  New events can be proposed early in the planning process, and the Steering Committee will decide if they are a suitable fit for the week’s events.

Events are funded through sponsorships and grants.  Funds raised and awarded grants go directly towards funding AAWC Events; a small percentage of funds are allocated towards administrative costs.

The AAWC Steering Committee is responsible for the facilitation of the Gala Event and the Family Day Pow Wow Festival.  The AAWC encourages agencies across the city to host their own event for the week of June 21st, and we will gladly promote their event on the Calendar of Events, which is available online.

If your organization is planning an event for the week of June 21st and you would like AAWC to promote it, please submit your event here.

Family Day Indigenous Day Live & Pow Wow
Volunteer date: June 22nd, 2019
Deadline to register: June 17th, 2019
Volunteer orientation: June 21st, 2019 – (12:00pm to 1:30pm.)

For more information or to register as a volunteer please contact:
Alan Chamberlain, AAWC Volunteer Lead
[email protected] or [email protected]

Open Volunteer Registration Form.

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