Hundreds of Fort McMurray residents took time to learn more about Canada’s Indigenous history on Friday.
June 21 marks National Indigenous Peoples Day – an official celebration to recognize and honour the achievements, history and rich cultures of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.
To mark the day, McMurray Métis hosted on their grounds in Gregoire the first ever FNMI Festival.
“There was a need to have something here that actually shows that National Indigenous Peoples Day is celebrated in Fort McMurray,” said CEO Bill Louttit. “It’s a day for education and we invite all community members to come out and participate.”
Around 2000 guests, including 800 students, were expected to attend the gathering, which included a number of traditional performances, vendors, and a BBQ.
Mayor Don Scott shared greetings online, saying it’s important to recognize and celebrate the invaluable contributions of Indigenous peoples as we move forward towards the process of reconciliation.
“We are committed to building respectful relationships and celebrating future achievements with Indigenous communities,” the statement reads.
Wood Buffalo is home to a large number of Indigneous communities, including the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, McKay Métis, McMurray Métis, and Mikisew Cree First Nation.