On June 21st, the cultures of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit are celebrated in regions all across Canada. It’s a great opportunity to recognize the amazing contributions they have given to their local communities and to our country. Culture is one of the subjects that I am highly passionate about, and our multicultural diversity we have is one of the many things that make me proud to be Canadian.
When I found out that the Mi’kmaq reserve of Millbrook, located approximately 10 minutes away from my home, was having their annual National Aboriginal Day at the Cultural Heritage Centre, I signed up right away to help out. What a great way to spend the afternoon of the first day of summer (after a morning of writing a math exam!).
When I arrived, there was already a ton of festivities going on for youth and adults alike! Some of the activities included a 50/50 raffle, traditional drumming and dancing, a barbecue, a giant teepee tent for children to play in, craft booths, music performances, and a reptile zoo! I had the pleasure of helping out with the barbecue, where we sold hot dogs, cheeseburgers, pop, and water. There was amazing turnout for not only the barbecue, but also for the entire event! It really is a great way to get everyone together to celebrate indigenous culture. I even got to meet this little guy, who was among the children and families dressed in a traditional Mi’kmaq ceremonial outfit.
On July 1st, Canada will be celebrating her 150th birthday. As this exciting time is approaching, it is important to recognize the culture and contributions of the aboriginal people. It is a perfect opportunity to reflect on the past and to learn from our mistakes, so we can create a brighter future for Canada. In fact, I am pleased to announce that I will be traveling to Ottawa for Canada Day with Experiences Canada and 150 other youth from around the country. We will be attending forums, visiting museums, volunteering, discussing the past, present, and future, and best of all, doing a group performance on Canada Day at Parliament Hill, broadcasted live on CBC Television! The details of the performance are TOP SECRET, even I don’t know them yet, haha! I am super pumped to be spending 10 entire days with some of the most inspiring youth and leaders in this country! I hope you will get a chance to watch the broadcast, or even the youth forum (which will also be streamed live!).
Anyway, happy first day of summer, and of course, happy National Aboriginal Day!
Zoe, Miss Teenage Nova Scotia 2017