The University of Manitoba celebrated National Aboriginal Day on June 21, 2012 with a feast, entertainment, artists and crafters, and activities in the University of Manitoba Brodie Centre Atrium.
A teepee will be set up all day and elders will be on site. Everyone is welcome to attend. Many of the Brodie Centre activities have been coordinated in conjunction with Health Sciences Centre.
The events included a Pipe ceremony, Teepee & Traditional Teachings, White Horse Drum Group/Singers/Dancers, Niji Mahkwa Traditional Singers and more.
The following message is from David Barnard, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Manitoba:
Canada’s National Aboriginal Day is annually held June 21 to celebrate the rich history, unique cultures and special achievements of First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples.
It is also a day to allow non-Aboriginal people to learn more about Aboriginal peoples and their communities as well as to join in with the many activities of celebration organized throughout our city, province and country.
The University of Manitoba is proud to honour, celebrate and acknowledge the rich diversity and accomplishments of First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples. We are especially proud of our Indigenous students, faculty members, staff and Indigenous alumni.
Deborah Young, executive lead for Indigenous achievement, has worked hard with many of our colleagues to develop the Pathways to Indigenous Achievement. It harnesses the power of education to transform communities and the lives of young people by:
• Supporting students;
• Building partnerships and supporting communities;
• Sharing Indigenous knowledge and research;
• Celebrating First Nations, Metis and Inuit successes.
In addition to being a time of celebration, National Aboriginal Day provides an opportunity to reflect on the University of Manitoba’s commitment to build a society where First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples, cultures and customs are reflected and respected in schools, workplaces and public institutions. In October 2011, the University of Manitoba issued a Statement of Apology and Reconciliation to Residential School survivors at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in October 2011. Following this statement, the university hosted a series of dialogues and photography exhibitions to help increase awareness of residential schools. At the University of Manitoba, we are at the dawn of a new partnership where we can all walk together, collaborate and learn from each other.
Details of National Aboriginal Day activities at our Bannatyne campus can be found at Indigenous Connect. In addition to community activities today, a full-day celebration at The Forks will be held Saturday. I hope you will be able to join the celebrations.