Dancers from Maskwacis celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day at Ponoka Elementary School June 21. Everyone was encouraged to join in. Photos by Emily Jaycox

June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day

Events held around town, Maskwacis

Ponoka and communities all across Canada are celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day Friday, June 21.

The pow wow planned for Centennial Park was moved to Ponoka Elementary School due to the weather. The event, co-hosted by Wolf Creek Public Schools and the Ponoka Jubilee Library, featured dancers and drummers from Maskwacîs.

The Maskwacîs Education Schools Commission is hosting a school-wide pow wow today to celebrate the end of its inaugural school year from 12 to 7 p.m. at Bear Park in Maskwacîs. The event includes a competition pow wow, career fair and community giveaway.

Alberta Health Services also held at a smudge ceremony and drummer on June 18 and served bannock on June 20 at the Ponoka Centennial Centre and the Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre is hosting an Elder talking circle and serving fry bread tacos in the cafeteria all day Friday June 21.

The Government of Canada declared June 21 of each year as National Indigenous Peoples Day in 1996 and is a day to celebrate the heritage, diverse cultures and achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis.

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Miss Ponoka Stampede Naomi Akkermans made an appearance at the celebration, bringing greetings from the Ponoka Stampede Association. The Ponoka Stampede starts June 25.

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