National Aboriginal Day

Greetings, Boozhoo, Aaniin, Sekoh, Wachay, Ullakut!

National Indigenous Peoples Day invites us to learn more about Indigenous history, perspectives and culture, and helps us build stronger relationships rooted in mutual respect and understanding.

We’re taking the opportunity to spotlight some of the wonderful partnerships and events shared with us by Indigenous leaders and communities across Ontario:

Murphys Point Provincial Park

Chuck working with large sheet of birch bark

Chuck Commanda comes from a long line of Algonquin canoe builders. As a young boy, growing up in Kitigan-Zibi, Chuck helped his grandparents make birchbark canoes. Now, years later, Chuck enjoys sharing his knowledge and showcasing his skills to the public.

Meet him anytime between 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. daily at the main beach picnic shelter from July 6-19. He will build a birchbark canoe (Wigwas Tchiman) in 14 days, using birch, spruce, ash and cedar materials harvested in the park and surrounding area. The finished canoe will be launched on July 19!

French River Provincial Park

collage of images from past pow wows

Everyone is welcome to attend the 13th Annual Gathering and Pow Wow “13 Grandmother Moons.” The rich celebration will include presentations, free quill and birch bark workshop, craft and food vendors, open mic, dancing, and music.

This family friendly (no pets please!) gathering takes place at the French River Visitor Centre on July 5-6, 2019.

Killarney Provincial Park

partners holding painting

Killarney maintains a partnership with nearby Point Grondine Park, which is owned and operated by Wikwemikong Unceded Territory. The two parks share training and job-shadowing opportunities, exchanging knowledge about park management. Point Grondine’s interpreter will also run a few programs at Killarney throughout the summer, and the two parks promote each other’s events.

Petroglyphs Provincial Park

Petroglyphs visitors centre

Petroglyphs earned its named because it contains the largest known concentration of Indigenous rock carvings in Canada. This sacred site is known as “The Teaching Rocks,” and depicts turtles, snakes, birds, humans and more.

Visit the Learning Place Visitor Centre to discover the traditions of the Ojibway (Nishnaabe) people through the teachings of the medicine wheel.

Sibbald Point Provincial Park

Everyone (no pets please!) is invited to experience the rich heritage and vibrant culture of the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation for an annual Pow Wow at Sibbald Point.

The event will feature traditional drumming and dancing, as well as First Nation crafts and food for purchase.

Stay tuned for 2019 dates!

Killbear Provincial Park

staff and community member share strawberries

Killbear is celebrating the summer solstice. Join Christine King, from our neighbouring Wasauksing First Nation community, for a morning of hand drumming, traditional Anishinabek water and strawberry ceremonies and a dance to the rhythm of Mother Earth’s heartbeat.

Quetico Provincial Park

Come out to Quetico’s Dawson Trail Campground this Labour Day Weekend to meet and learn about the Lac La Croix Pony. Ponies will be visiting from Grey Raven Ranch at Seine River First Nation. Join us throughout the weekend to meet these magnificent ponies and learn first hand about this rare Indigenous breed of pony that once lived throughout the area.

Algonquin Provincial Park

Totem pole. Created by Algonquin elder/artist Dan Bowers- given to park as gift from Algonquins. Erected Oct 2015

In October 2015, the Algonquins of Ontario raised a totem pole overlooking Algonquin Provincial Park’s East Gate. An Algonquin elder carved it from an Eastern White Pine almost as old as the park. Their gift came with a story.