First Indigenous Peoples Day a learning experience 

By Rosalind Russell – Espanola’s first Indigenous Peoples Day gathering was a learning experience for individuals who wanted to learn more about First Nation teachings and culture. 

The town, in partnership with Noojmowin Teg Health Centre and the Ojibway Cultural Foundation had different stations set up outside the complex on the track and field. 

Participants could receive a smudge healing, make art with birch bark, learn a bit of lacrosse, try wild rice salad, and learn about Pow Wow regalia, dances, and protocols. 

With the success, it is hoped that the gathering will become an annual event to celebrate June 21st, not only celebrating culture, but also the summer solstice and the first day of summer.  

PHOTO: Espanola Town Clerk Joseph Burke has a smudge cleansing for the first time, a long-time Indigenous tradition and part of their healing process. Photos by Rosalind Russell

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