The National Indigenous People’s Day will begin at 11 a.m. June 21 at the Millbrook Cultural and Heritage Centre. Last year’s festivities on what is formerly National Aboriginal Day, started with a grass dance featuring Xavier Bernard (left) and Jase Syliboy. File photo

MILLBROOK – Indigenous culture and heritage will be celebrated this month with the inaugural National Indigenous People’s Day.

Formerly National Aboriginal Day, Millbrook First Nation has a day-long festival planned for June 21 at the Millbrook Cultural and Heritage Centre. On June 21, 2017, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the federal government’s intention to rename the day to National Indigenous People’s Day.

Dancer registration will begin at 10 a.m. at the centre, with Grand Entry following at 11 a.m. Opening remarks and a prayer will be held at 11:05, with the first round of intertribals beginning five minutes later.

The rest of the schedule is as follows:

  • 11:30 a.m. – Second songs (singers choice)
  • 12 p.m. – Fawn Wood and Dallas Waskahat will perform
  • 1 p.m. – Second round intertribals
  • 1:20 p.m. – Second songs (dancers choice)
  • 1:30 p.m. – Kojua Special (emcee Michael R. Denny)
  • 2 p.m. – Fawn Wood and Dallas Waskahat perform
  • 3 p.m. – Ticket draws and Grand Exit

The festival will feature numerous performers – from drummers and singers to dancers – including Stoney Bear Singers, Eastern Eagle Singers, Cheyenne Isaac as head female dancer, and Alwyn Jeddore as head male dancer.

Bouncy houses will be on site for youth, including teenagers, and a barbecue will be available. Vendors are welcome, but must bring their own table, chairs, and tent.

The event is open to the public.