Celebrations took place across the Bulkley Valley and Lakes District today (Tuesday) for National Indigenous People’s Day.
Events were held in Smithers, Burns Lake, Houston and Witset.
The Smithers celebration was held at the Dze L’kant Friendship Cultural Centre and featured traditional drumming, a vendor fair and traditional cuisine.
Dignitaries from Telkwa, Smithers and the Province were in attendance for the event.
Deputy Mayor for the Village of Telkwa Derek Meerdink said that today is a special occasion to learn about the culture of Indigenous people across the country and BC.
“This event is enabling our communities to join together in celebration with all of the Indigenous people, especially the Wet’suwet’en people as we continue to work together to achieve reconciliation and build stronger communities,” he said.
Stikine MLA Nathan Cullen was also in attendance for the event.
He said that acknowledging National Indigenous People’s Day is becoming increasingly important.
“As we acknowledge our history as a country, as a province and as a community it’s an opportunity to come together, celebrate and lift up Indigenous cultures everywhere and understand the importance of Indigenous people every day,” Cullen said.
He added that it is a day in the calendar but is also much more than that because it is something that acknowledges all that has happened in the past.
During the event it was also being celebrated that the Dze L’Kant Cultural Centre has been in the society’s possession for thirty years.
Executive Director of the Friendship Centre Annette Morgan called this a legacy.
She also thanked the founders for creating a space for teachings, acknowledgement and reconciliation.
National Indigenous Peoples Day acknowledges the cultures and contributions of First Nations, Metis and Inuit people in Canada.