June 16, 2020Print | PDF
Wilfrid Laurier University will celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day – a day to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada – with online events on June 17 and 21.
National Indigenous Peoples Day is celebrated annually on June 21. This year, the day is marked with additional significance as the Summer Solstice takes place on June 20 and will be followed by a solar eclipse the next day. Both events represent transition and creation for many Indigenous Peoples.
“Customarily on National Indigenous Peoples Day, we would feast, share music and be together in physical spaces,” says Melissa Ireland, director of Indigenous Initiatives at Laurier. “This year’s events may look different, but they still allow for attendees to experience togetherness, traditional knowledge and celebration as we lift up and share our experiences as vibrant, diverse and culturally rich peoples.”
All members of the Laurier community are invited to participate in the online events, organized by the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, at no charge. Registration is required to secure links in advance of the events.
Join Stan Wesley, a member of Moose Factory’s Cree community and national public speaker, over Zoom for a virtual wellness event that pairs self-care and resilience with trivia and fun. “Let’s Talk Pandemic, Lifestyle Changes and Mental Wellness: The Pan-Deadly Gameshow” features a gameshow-style presentation that invites participants to respond anonymously to questions about their well-being amid the pandemic using the smartphone app Mentimetre. A question-and-answer period and Indigenous culture trivia round out the one-hour event.
Sit by the fire – virtually – for Ish'kote Storytelling: Honouring Life and Storytelling, an online feast offering led by Kathy Absolon, a professor in the Faculty of Social Work at Laurier and an Anishinaabe kwe storyteller and knowledge carrier. Absolon, also known as Minogiizhigokwe within Waterloo Region’s Indigenous community, will bring participants together in spirit, heart, mind and body through Indigenous teachings.
The event is hosted by Laurier’s Office of Indigenous Initiatives, Centre for Indigegogy and Centre for Student Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in partnership with the Centre for International Governance Innovation.