National Indigenous People’s Day

District of West Vancouver

Grant Program: Community Grants 2023

Funder: Howard Martin Memorial Fund

In collaboration with the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation), the District of West Vancouver hosted National Indigenous People’s Day in Ambleside Park. The event brought together West Vancouver residents and their Indigenous neighbours to celebrate, appreciate and learn about the traditional territory of the of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) and engage with local Indigenous artists, creators, and storytellers.

The community came together to celebrate National Indigenous People’s Day on June 21 in Ambleside Park. Two long tables were the centerpiece of the event, where Elders, children, Indigenous and non-Indigenous families came together to enjoy a traditional open-fire barbecued salmon dinner, with bannock and salads. It was an amazing experience watching people sit next to each other and talk, learn, laugh and enjoy a meal. Canoe families from SD45 Tel’Tiwet, WVPD Ch’ich’iyuy, and IFNU Sema7maka paddled and brought groups of people onto the water. Indigenous musical groups performed a combination of traditional and contemporary music, while people learned wool weaving and were introduced to books on Indigenous history, culture, and traditions.

It was fantastic seeing Indigenous and non-Indigenous sitting together, sharing stories, building connections and learning about one another. The Indigenous community came out in significantly larger numbers than previous years. Crowds gathered to celebrate, see relatives, dance, savor amazing food, and enjoy great music. It was a coming together of community members. The outreach to the community through social media, Squamish Nation resident invitations, posters and word of mouth was enough to draw a fantastic crowd.

National Indigenous People’s Day was a celebration of Indigenous Culture. The event was a coming together of community members, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous. Elders interacted with children, Indigenous and non-Indigenous came together to learn wool weaving, share stories, enjoy music and savor great food. Over $2,000 was donated to the Squamish Nation Elders Centre, collected as contributions for the over 425 traditional open fire barbecued salmon dinners.

It was a great opportunity to come together with family and friends in a positive and celebratory manor. According to the North Shore News article about the event, people reunited with aunties and cousins’ they hadn’t seen for some time.

Please accept our thank you for your continued support of National Indigenous People's Day.