Petro-Canada and Parkland Regional Library host National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration

Catch the spirit of National Indigenous Peoples Day June 21. This is a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

That was the message for people in Kamsack who came to the Petro-Canada grounds on June 21 to help celebrate, enjoy crafts, music, free lunch and books.

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The event was hosted by Petro-Canada, The Parkland Regional Library and New Beginnings Outreach centre.

The Family Resource Centre, for families with children from age zero to five, located in the upper level of the Crowstand Centre in Kamsack was also there with activities for the kids. Andrea Verigin and Megan Peters, both early years’ facilitators, had a table set up and were putting temporary tattoos on those who stopped by.

Mayor Nancy Brunt welcomed everyone to the celebration. “Welcome. I am happy to have you in my town celebrating National Aboriginal Day on Treaty 4 land,” said Brunt. “Carol Marriott is the literacy co-ordinator for the Parkland Regional Library and I used to be the librarian, so reading and literacy is very important to me.”

Brunt then made the symbolic passing of tobacco to William Whitehawk, a senior member from the Cote community who often drops in at New Beginnings, and he said a prayer in the Ojibway language “for everyone here today and in the world.”

Wanda Cote, director of the New Beginnings, said “National Aboriginal Day is a day of solidarity for our people and to highlight all of our Indigenous peoples’ contributions to the country. It is time for all of Canada to recognize our cultural history. We never give up or judge anybody.”

A book table was set up and although there was no charge for the books, any donations made were to be used for New Beginnings programming.

Helen McCutcheon of Yorkton, director of the Parkland Regional Library, welcomed everyone to the celebration.

James Perry was at the barbecue cooking burgers for the crowd. “I want to thank the wonderful group of people who are the Trackside Gardeners for allowing us to use their picnic tables today for this event,” he said.