The 7th annual National Indigenous Peoples Day will be held on June 21 at Rotary Park in Pembroke. Members of the planning committee stand before the new Waka-ehi Lodge - from left are planning committee members Juliana Dow, Lorrie Potvin, Jennifer Meere, co-coordinators Annik McBride and Angela Duchene, Publicist Linda Spagnolo with the Anishaanabe Cultural Circle, Treasurer Dennis Duchene, Janice Harrison and Bob Braden. 

National Indigenous Peoples Day event to be held at Rotary Park June 21

By Patricia Leboeuf

Posted on Thursday, June 6, 2019

The 7th Annual National Indigenous Peoples Day will celebrate First Nations’ culture in Pembroke.

The June 21 event is a celebration of traditions, highlighting how far the Indigenous population has come from the days of residential schools and cultural erasure, said co-coordinator Angela Duchene.

“I think it is very important for all of Canada to celebrate National Indigenous Day,” she said. “It is a huge step for our people to be able to get their rights.”

There will be various teaching stations this year with different knowledge keepers and elders to answer questions about things including bannock making, the sacred fire, the medicine wheel, the pipe ceremony, and drum teaching. Many of these stations are hands-on and interactive, and all are family-friendly.

The event will be held on the Summer Solstice at Rotary Park in Pembroke from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will also feature various Indigenous workshops in addition to kids crafts, information tables, vendors, face painting, bouncy castles and a free BBQ lunch. People will also be invited to explore the new Waka-ehi lodge, which is located at 464 Isabella St.

“I just really like seeing the whole community coming together to celebrate something that is very, very important for our history,” said Duchene.

The event was moved from its traditional home at the Pembroke Marina to Rotary Park on James Street due to flooding. The event schedule remains the same, though organizers warn attendees that parking may not be as accessible.

It is closer to a handful of schools,  however, and organizers hope students will come out and learn more about First Nations.

“I’ve always just enjoyed all generations coming together to celebrate one day,” said Duchene. “It is a very inclusive type of event.”

If you are interested in setting up a booth or to register a school class, please call Angela Duchene at 613-735-6866 ext 2052 or email