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Town set to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day

Celebration will kick off with opening ceremonies, a smudge and a flag raising, followed by a pop-up market and traditional drumming and dancing
East side of town entrance.

We are one week away from an evening of traditional drumming and dancing, storytelling, knowledge sharing, Indigenous Artisans, and More!

In partnership with the BWG Indigenous-led committee (Jennifer Bahinski of Rise Up BWG and Kevin J.D. Nanibush Morrison) and the BWG Public Library, the Town of BWG invites the community to join us on Wednesday, June 21, starting at 4:30 p.m. to celebrate National Indigenous History Month and National Indigenous Peoples Day in BWG.

“I look forward to celebrating the cultures and traditions of Indigenous Peoples, and listening and learning about their unique experiences at this year’s National Indigenous People Day celebration. I am tremendously proud of what we have been able to collectively organize and extend a sincere thanks to White Eagle for continuing to share his knowledge and wisdom with our community, as well as our local Indigenous-led committee for their leadership in planning and coordinating a remarkable lineup of Indigenous performers and vendors.” – Mayor James Leduc

The celebration will kick off with opening ceremonies, a smudge and a flag raising at Sunshine Square, followed by a pop-up market and traditional drumming and dancing on the library west lawn.

Full program of events

4:30 p.m. - Opening Ceremonies and Smudge performed by White Eagle, flag raising.

5:30 p.m. - Pop-up Market ppens, featuring Indigenous Artisans (Bella Lovelee Beads, Cedar Kwe Creations, Eartha Creations, Emma Joyce Creations, Future Kokum, Karahkwa Jewelry, Latte Beads, Miikana, Raon Raon Creations, and Roots + Raven.

6 p.m. - Opening remarks and welcome from Elder and MC, Dave Rice.

6:15 p.m. - Opening song (Drum) by Aiden Goreveatt.

6:20 to 8:30 p.m. - Drum and Dance by Ashunyung Singers; Honour Song by Aiden Goreveatt; Speech by Healer, Speaker and Best Selling Author, Asha Frost; and Dancing by Fancy Shawl Dancer, Kayla, Jingle Dancer, Alexa, and Sonny Robbins.

8:30 p.m. - Market closes.

"I am so thrilled to be part of this celebration of Indigenous culture right here in Bradford West Gwillimbury. Simcoe County is so rich in history as is every community on Turtle Island, so taking the time to learn, celebrate and honour those that walked this land before us is a perfect way to all come together on this day. Through traditional dance, drumming, arts and knowledge sharing, we can share all the beauty of our Indigenous culture with the Bradford community and celebrate together". – Jennifer Bahinski, Owner Bella Lovelee Beads and Member of local Indigenous-led Committee

"As a 60s scoop survivor, I was taken at birth and adopted into a non-indigenous home, which led to me losing out on many life aspects such as my culture, my heritage, and most of all my indigenous identity. I am now reclaiming that part of me. I wanted to join the indigenous-led planning committee so I can share different aspects of my culture which was originally taken from me. – Kevin Morrison, Member of local Indigenous-led Committee

All community members are welcome to join the celebration. Please bring your own lawn chair.

We extend a special thanks to Canadian Heritage for their sponsorship through the Celebrate Canada program.

More information on our guest artists

Ashunyung is the traditional name for Lake Simcoe and means Shining Water. The group consists of several members from different nations but all currently live around Lake Simcoe.  Kayla Robbins is a Woman’s Fancy Shawl Dancer and Alexa Robbins is a Jingle Dress Dancer who have both been dancing for several years now.

Asha Frost (she/her) is an Indigenous Medicine Woman and a member of the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation. She has a BA in Psychology from the University of Guelph and a degree in Homeopathic Medicine. Asha is the best-selling Author of You are the Medicine and has guided thousands of people through profound and lasting transformation for the past two decades in her work as a healer, homeopath and mentor.

Aiden Gorveatt is a drummer and singer who leads drumming workshops at the Barrie Native Friendship Centre.