With the first day of summer arriving, so did National Indigenous Peoples Day.
The day which recognizes and celebrates the cultures and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Indigenous peoples of Canada was celebrated in many different ways across the country.
In Regina, it was celebrated at Victoria Park.
Rob Allin, a National Indigenous Peoples Day committee member in Regina, said that day was more than just a celebration.
“This is a day about celebrating our culture, about bringing the community together, learning, dealing with each other and learning how to move forward in the future.”
He said it was also an opportunity to have meaningful discussions around reconciliation.
“With Truth and Reconciliation and everything that is coming out about what happened, it’s very important to teach people so that they understand because you cannot have true reconciliation without knowing the truth.”
He noted that you can still celebrate indigenous culture while learning about the effects of residential schools.
“A day like this can bring forward the knowledge that there are still a lot of people hurting, a lot of people still need help, and a lot of people in the community still have to come together to provide aid to people,” he said. “Through that, we can still celebrate our cultures, our strong traditions, our leaders and everything that we do in our community.”
Jeremy Fourhorns, the Tribal Cheif and CEO of File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council, said it’s important to have ‘uncomfortable discussions.’
“In a lot of ways, the events that we do, that we recognize, we acknowledge, and honour, it all goes back to our history. Whether that’s history is a positive light or a negative light, some of that makes people feel uncomfortable, but the more we come together going forward, the less uncomfortable it gets over time, so coming together like this it’s a positive benefit to everybody involved.”
Fourhorns said that when it comes to Truth and Reconciliation it’s something that both sides are still trying to figure out the best ways how to go about it.
“Some of that stuff makes people feel uncomfortable, but that’s kind of an indicator that lets us know we are moving in the right direction. There is so much more that has to be done, there’s so much more discussion, there’s so much more history, and there’s so much that has to be brought to light to have a dialogue about. As we move forward, we are going to get better at this.+”
“We are going to get better on the truth side of things, sharing that information and that history that’s going to become more paramount as we move forward,” he added.