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Woodland Cultural Centre celebrates National Indigenous Peoples Day 

Indigenous EventsWoodland Cultural Centre celebrates National Indigenous Peoples Day 

Over 400 people attended the Woodland Cultural Centre’s National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration on Sunday, June 23, 2024.

Though the day is typically recognized on June 21, many, including Woodland Cultural Centre, kept the celebrations going throughout the weekend.

Karie Hill, Miss Six Nations and Isabella Beaver, Miss Pre Teen Six Nations, pose for a photo during Woodland Cultural Centre’s National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration on Sunday, June 23, 2024.

Heather George, Executive Director of the Woodland Cultural Centre, said that despite the forecast of rain, she was thrilled with the event’s turnout.

“It’s been fantastic and I think we’ve had upwards of 400 people here today,” she said. “Given that we had a bit of a downpour in the middle of the event, I’m super grateful that so many people came out, it’s amazing.”

Semiah Smith sings one of her original songs, “Nobody Knows Me” during Woodland Cultural Centre’s National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration on Sunday, June 23, 2024.

With various musical performances, hands-on activities, traditional food and staff programming, the event was all about showcasing Haudenosaunee traditions.

 “We just really wanted to showcase all the best Haudenosaunee traditions here today and so that’s what we’re doing,” she said. “We’ve had lacrosse and smoke dance demonstrations, language yoga, hands-on workshops and traditional games, we have over a dozen vendors and three musical performances, guided tours of the gallery space and films as well.”

Madison Miller, owner of Sweetness Beading, shows off a few of her earring designs during Woodland Cultural Centre’s National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration on Sunday, June 23, 2024.

George said that being able to get together and celebrate the community is what the day is all about.

“Celebrating our Indigeneity is just such a joyous thing,” she said. “I think it brings the community together and it gives us an opportunity to share our culture with other people and I think that anytime we get to do this at Woodland it’s extra special given the history of our site.”

Jody Martin, owner of Native Glass, and her cousin Mickenzie Martin, owner of Bead and Bloom, show off a few of their wares during Woodland Cultural Centre’s National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration on Sunday, June 23, 2024.

She noted that hearing the positive response from visitors always makes the hard work in organizing an event, well worth it.

“We put on these events wanting to have both the Indigenous and non-Indigenous community show up and support the artists and support Woodland and when they share their appreciation, it really uplifts me and the staff and so we’re just so grateful for everybody coming out,” said George.

Both Indigenous and non-Indigenous attendees join the Skye family in a social dance during Woodland Cultural Centre’s National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration on Sunday, June 23, 2024.

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