Royal Roads hosts annual National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration June 21

June 14, 2018

Royal Roads University invites the community to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day on the traditional lands of the Xwsepsum (Esquimalt) and Lkwungen (Songhees) ancestors and families.

Celebrations include a traditional canoe landing protocol practice led by Songhees Nation Elder Butch Dick, a canoe challenge, traditional drumming, singing and dancing, children’s field games, traditional foods, craft workshops, artists, vendors and a traditional plant walk along Colwood Creek with Cowichan Nation Elder Kenneth Elliot. 

The event runs 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, June 21. The canoe landing protocol practice begins at 10:30 a.m. on the shore of the Esquimalt Lagoon, followed by the canoe challenge.

The event is co-hosted by Royal Roads, the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, the University of Victoria and Camosun College, with support from the Indigenous Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation Council (ISPARC) and Power to Be.

“It’s exciting to see how this event has grown in recent years,” says Asma-na-hi Antoine, Manager of Indigenous Education and Student Services at Royal Roads. “We owe a big thanks to our partners, supporters, volunteers and guests for making this day possible. It’s been a pleasure working together to create such a vibrant event that celebrates Indigenous cultures and community relations.”

Performers and facilitators:

  • The Lkwungen Singers and Dancers
  • The Esquimalt Singers and Dancers
  • ANSWER Drum Group (Various nations)
  • Alex Wells, hoop dancer (Lil’wat Nation)
  • Wesley Hardisty, Dene fiddler
  • Farrah Sylvester, bone games facilitator (Tsawout First Nation)

Admission is free and parking is complimentary. A shuttle service will be offered free of charge between festivities at Sneq’wa e’lun  (Blue Heron House) at Royal Roads and the Indigenous Perspective Society’s celebrations at the West Shore Parks and Recreation lower field, 1767 Island Highway. The university encourages the public to consider taking public transit or walking or cycling to Royal Roads along the Galloping Goose Regional Trail.