NNSL Media reached out to communities throughout the NWT to find out what is happening for National Indigenous Peoples Day.

Celebrations take place starting on Friday, June 21, with some carrying forward over the weekend. 

Here are some of the event notices we received as of Sunday evening:

Norman Wells

The Norman Wells Land Corporation will be hosting a weekend of National Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations in the community, according to a June 10 posting on Facebook.

Festivities will begin on Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. with an Eco-challenge for youth in the arena parking lot. On the same day, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., there will be an Imperial luncheon. From 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. there will be a Family Dance and Talent Show, featuring Lee Mandeville and Company.

On Saturday, there will be canoe races in the Rick Muyres 3rd Annual Memorial Canoe Race at the NTCL dock from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., with cash prizes for mixed, men’s and women’s categories.  On the same day, from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., there will be an adult talent show and a licensed dance.

On Sunday, there will be a community feast from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the arena.

Hay River

The Hay River Metis Government Council will host its annual Aboriginal Day celebrations on June 21, beginning at noon at 10 Industrial Drive. There will be a free barbecue, live entertainment and activities for children.

A notice on Facebook stated that there will be a free barbecue with live entertainment, a children’s corner with face-painting and children’s activities. Everyone is welcome.

K’atlodeeche First Nation

K’atlodeeche First Nation will be hosting National Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations on the afternoon of June 21 on the Hay River Reserve. There will be a fish fry and cultural activities, such as canoe races, archery, nail driving and log splitting.


Caroline Loreen, recreation co-ordinator with the Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk, said there will be numerous activities throughout the day to celebrate.

“We have a lot of Traditional Games going on the baseball field,” Loreen stated in an email. “The whole community is invited we have games for all ages and prizes. We will also have a BBQ throughout the day. We will be having an Arctic Sports demonstrations, Blanket toss, bannock making, tea boiling, geese plucking, fish cutting, traditional scavenger hunt, traditional dress and drum dancing.”

Acho Dene Koe First Nation/Fort Liard  

The Acho Dene Koe First Nation will be holding a day-long event beginning with a pancake breakfast at 9 a.m. at the community hall.

Opening ceremonies will begin at 11 a.m. at the Arbor with kids games starting at noon. According to a poster on Facebook, kids games will include an egg toss, egg race, balloon race, piggy-back race, three-legged race, potato sack race and tug-of-war.

There will also be adults games for both men and women at 2 p.m. and this will include a wood chop, egg toss, egg race, three-legged race, nail drive, and tea boiling.

A crib tournament will take place at 4 p.m. followed by a baseball game at the ball diamond from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

A number of artisans and vendors will be set up in the recreation centre featuring Dene traditional crafts, arts and traditional foods from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The day will end with a drum dance at the Arbor from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Liddlii Kue/Fort Simpson

There will be a day-long event to mark National Indigenous Peoples Day, starting with a fire feeding ceremony at the Arbor at 10 a.m. The Liidlii Kue First Nation will host a barbecue at noon.

There will be traditional games with a slip and slide and bouncy house set up from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Arbor.

From 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. there will be singing and drumming also hosted by the First Nation.

The radio bingo, worth $15,000, will take place at 4:30 p.m.The Fort Simpson Drummers will host a drum dance at 8 p.m.


Sasha Blake, recreation coordinator for the Hamlet of Tsiigehtchic, said her community will be having a community cookout at the river with fun events taking place throughout the day.

Events will begin at 2 p.m.

“Most of the community comes to events,” she said. “This is a great event that happens each year and all the children enjoy taking part in this event.”

Colville Lake

According to the NWT Recreation and Parks Association, the Behdzi Ahda First Nation will host an event in Colville Lake. The day will include a number of fun community events including a cookout followed by outdoor activities for all in attendance.

No further information was available by press time.

The Deline Gotine Government will host an event in Deline, according to the NWT Recreation and Parks Association.  

The day will include traditional games, throughout the afternoon with traditional food for a cookout. There will be activities including log-splitting, Dene games, Indian ball and more.

The day intends to allow Canadians to honour “the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions” of Indigenous peoples, stated the NWT Recreation and Parks Association in an email.


Erin Porter, wellness and recreation coordinator with the Hamlet of Enterprise stated in a message over Facebook that the community will not be holding National Indigenous Peoples Day festivities this year.


The North Slave Metis Alliance will be hosting a Fish Fry and Stage Show at the Somba K’e Civic Plaza from noon to 5 p.m.

The day’s festivities will be hosted by Metis elder Tony Whitford and First Nation elder Gail Cyr and will include speeches by dignitaries. There will be several musical acts throughout the afternoon including the Metis House Band, Metis Cultural Dancers, Metis Cultural Fiddlers, Yellowknives First Nation Dene Drummers, Inuit throat singers Tanya Roach and Friend, country rock singers Ernie Constance and the Boys, First Nation singer Kiera-Dawn Kolson, and Metis youth guitarist and singer Taylor Soloy.  

For more information, please see the full-page advertisement from the North Slave Metis Alliance in this week’s (June 17) News/North.

– with files from Paul Bickford 


Simon Whitehouse

Simon Whitehouse came to Yellowknife to work with Northern News Services in 2011. A through and through "County boy" from Prince Edward County, Ont., Simon obtained his journalism education at Algonquin...

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