National Indigenous Peoples Day is coming to the Pembroke Waterfront on June 21. Events will primarily be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a sunrise ceremony at around 5 a.m. Announcing the event are (from lef) Publicist Linda Spagnolo, Coordinator Annik McBride, Coordinator Angela Duchene and Treasurer and Fundraiser Dennis Duchene. (Photo by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)


6th Annual Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21 at Pembroke Waterfront

By Patricia Leboeuf

Posted on Thursday June 7, 2018


Indigenous Peoples Day is coming to the Pembroke Waterfront, welcoming the entire community to this celebration of First Nations culture.

The free event is in its sixth year and will be held on June 21. The bulk of activities will being held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a sunrise ceremony in the early morning. It has grown every year since its inception; last year more than 1,200 people attended.

It allows people to reconnect with their roots and share their culture with those in the community.

“It is a culture that has been lost for many years and now it is coming back,” said Treasurer and Fundraiser Dennis Duchene.

As well as Indigenous teachings, traditions, songs, drumming and dances, there will be all-ages activities, which will include a health fair, vendors, throat singing, music, crafts, bouncy castles, a bannock making station, free BBQ lunch and more.

The event will have a particular emphasis on school children and youth in the community. Many elders will be on hand to share their traditional teachings.

“I think our main objective of the whole thing is to help the children,” said Duchene, “because children are our future.”

For Coordinator Angela Duchene, the day brings a lot of interactivity. Many of the activities allow people to take part in hands-on teachings. Seeing young people from area schools get up on stage and drum or dance also warms her heart.

“It is just all walks of life, all cultures, and just everybody coming together to participate,” she said.

Family and Children Services (FCS) of Renfrew County, the Renfrew County and District Aboriginal Friendship Centre, and the Anishaanabe Cultural Circle comprised of FCS, Metis of Ontario and the Bonnechere Algonquin Metis Community from Petawawa, host the event. It is also funded by many local businesses. A full list of the sponsors can be found on the Anishaanabe Cultural Circle’s Facebook page.

There is also a $500 bursary that will be announced, which goes to a student in good standing that has a connection to Indigenous peoples.

Visitors are asked to leave their dogs at home and to bring a chair if they plan on staying at the event for awhile.

Interested individuals can also book a booth at the event or get more information by contacting Annik McBride at 613-735-6866 Ext. 3031 or annik.mcbride@fcsrenfrew.on.ca, or Angela Duchene at 613-735-6866 Ext. 2052 or angela.duchene@fcsrenfrew.on.ca