Skip to content

Lower Kootenay Band to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day

The community is invited to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21
Jason Louie speaks on National Indigenous Peoples Day with Lower Kootenay Band. (Photo credit Brian Lawrence)

On June 21, Canadians will recognize National Indigenous Peoples Day by celebrating the unique heritage, diverse cultures, and utter resilience of First Nations, Inuit, and Metis peoples.

According to the government of Canada, June 21 is the chosen day because many Indigenous groups and communities have cultural celebrations around the time of the summer solstice.

Here in the Creston Valley, the Yaqan Nukiy will host a community event with the message of “come one, come all”.

“Any time we can bring the community and this whole valley together, it helps with reconciliation. It helps with relations with our neighbors,” said Nasukin Jason Louie.

The family-friendly Friday will feature food trucks and fun for all. Starting with an opening prayer at 11 a.m., cultural demonstrations and traditional dancing will continue the rest of the day until 3 p.m.

“Local artisans will demonstrate beadwork and pine needle baskets,” said Louie. “Participants will be given an opportunity to create something,  just to get the experience and the appreciation of the amount of tedious work it takes to do any kind of traditional piece.”

The Aknusti, a program through the Ktunaxa Nation Council that encourages youth to become guardians of the land, will also host a demonstration.

To raise funds for Gleaners, a dunk tank will be set up with appearances by Brian Pealow, LKB councillor Cherie Luke, Town of Creston councillor Denise Dumas, and Nasukin Louie himself. 

At a previous event, Louie said he had the misfortune to be dunked six times in a row. He hopes for better luck this time.

For lunch, expect to see the Creston Lions, Ella’s Jamaican, and traditional fry bread. 

There are also some awesome door prizes to be won, including a barbecue, hotel stay, tattoo gift certificate, and more. 

“Come with your appetite, come with an open mind, and come learn about our beautiful Indigenous culture,” said Louie. 

The entire event will be hosted in the parking lot of the Wilfred Jacobs Building, located at 3425 Old Community Road. Attendees are asked to park at Legend Logos or Yaqan Nukiy School and avoid congesting the highway. A shuttle will be traveling back and forth.

Kelsey Yates

About the Author: Kelsey Yates

Kelsey Yates has had a lifelong passion for newspapers and storytelling. Originally from Alberta, she graduated from SAIT Polytechnic's journalism program in 2016.
Read more