The city of Whitehorse is preparing to be one of three cities set to those this year’s Indigenous Day Live (IDL) celebrations.
The main events kick off Saturday June, 22.
National Indigenous peoples day celebrates heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of aboriginal people across canada.
The other two cities are Winnipeg, Man., and for the first time Calgary, Alta.
Kwanlin Dun First Nation Chief Doris Bill is excited for Whitehorse to host the IDL event again.
“I think for us, we’ve always been a first nation that hosts other first nations. You know, Whitehorse is built on that,” she says.
“It’s always been a part of who we are.”
June 21 also marks the summer solstice and a time for Indigenous communities to celebrate with one another.
The Kwanlin Dun cultural centre has been hosting the National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration for years and will do so again this year.
Sitting on the river front and on the banks of the Chu Niikwan, the cultural centre is a great place for locals and visitors alike to gather for the celebrations.
Linda Moen is the chair of the Board of Governors with the Kwanlin Dun First Nation.
“We’ve taken on a number of different things and Indigenous people day is one of them,” she said. “I think its a great area. we are here on the banks of Chu Niikwan. We have the beautiful long house. we have outdoor areas available. We’re right on the water front.
“So I think there’s a number of things that made it a natural location for people to come and gather and celebrate.”
The celebrations start Friday at 10 a.m. with the unveiling and celebration of the B.C. Centennial totem pole and continues into the evening with performers and family friendly activities from traditional dance groups like the Dakhká Khwáan Dancers and the Ta’an Kwäch’än Dancers to hand games and kids face painting.
On Saturday June 22, Indigenous Day Live activities and performances start at 3 p.m. at the Shipyards Park.
Some of the performances include the Julien Taylor Band, and Leela Gilday.
Moen says everyone is welcome from the Yukon and beyond to share in the celebrations and hopes people take away an experience they will not soon forget.
“I think its time to showcase ourselves and to be really proud of who we are as Indigenous people and to share that with our neighbors, with the people of Whitehorse and all the visitors to the Yukon,” she said.