A blanketing ceremony was part of National Aboriginal Day on the Douglas Park Spirit Square stage on Sunday, June 25. Troy Landreville Langley Times

VIDEO: First Nations culture celebrated at Douglas Park

Day included info tables, aboriginal vendors, free hot dogs, bannock sales and more

Pride, tradition, honour, and the future — those were the focal points of Sunday’s National Aboriginal Day event in Langley City.

While National Aboriginal Day was technically June 21, Langley held its own celebration four days later at Douglas Park.

Through drums, singing, speeches, a blanketing ceremony, dance, and food, Canadian First Nations culture and heritage were highlighted on and around the park’s Spirit Square stage.

Kwantlen First Nation elders Lekeyten and Cheryl Gabriel spoke to open the event, that was hosted by the Lower Fraser Valley Aboriginal Society.

Gabriel admitted she was ashamed of her heritage “because we were taught that way.”

But when her sister Marilyn became band chief in 1994, she brought the Kwantlen name back, which means “tireless runner, tireless hunter.”

Soon after, 18 Kwantlen First Nation members received their traditional names.

“It was such an emotional day, but that’s just our nation,” Gabriel said. “A lot of the nations across British Columbia and Canada and North America, are going back to their traditional names and making sure that people know they are walking, and working and playing, learning, teaching, that they are on a traditional territory.”

Regarding the day itself, Lekeyten said, “I know that today, you are going to have a good time, and that’s why we came. Let the tiny tots have fun, let them dance, let them sing, make sure they know why we honour them today with the blanket. You might not see another one like this for a long time.”

This free family festival included activities for all ages ranging from elders to children, with information tables, aboriginal vendors, free hot dogs, bannock sales and more.

About National Aboriginal Day

This is a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. The Canadian Constitution recognizes these three groups as Aboriginal peoples, also known as Indigenous Peoples.

 

Zactzevul McKenna from Shuswap danced during the National Aboriginal Day celebration in Langley City on Sunday, June 25. Troy Landreville Langley Times

After being dressed in an honour blanket, Langley City Mayor Ted Schaffer shared a laugh with Kwantlen First Nation elder Cheryl Gabriel during the City’s National Aboriginal Day celebration at Douglas Park Spirit Square on Sunday. Troy Landreville Langley Times

The Red Hawk Drummers are made up of members of all ages, and they performed on the Douglas Park Spirit Square stage during National Aboriginal Day in Langley City. Troy Landreville Langley Times

Just Posted

Surrey School District refuses to rent Bell Centre for Parents United Canada rally

Group is seeking court injunction to stop an LGBTQ program in public schools

Off-duty officer, store staff struck in South Surrey altercation

One arrested following suspected theft in Grandview Corners

EXCLUSIVE: Surrey collecting fees on more than 2,400 illegal suites, documents reveal

That works out to more than $1 million in fees collected annually

New private school proposed for South Surrey

Thirty-acre site once eyed for entertainment and gaming complex

Busy Highway 99 junction not yet a priority for province

City of Surrey says it’s ready to fund project

Man in custody linked police search near Salmon Arm

Police have not connected arrest to search at Salmon River Road property

‘Hearties’ descend on Langley

Fans of TV show ‘When Calls the Heart’ have gathered in Langley for the Hearties Family Reunion

B.C. search groups mobilize for missing mushroom picker

Searchers from across the province look for Frances Brown who has been missing since Oct. 14.

Nerd alert: Science fiction, fantasy and games fans convene in Surrey for VCON

New this year is a Halloween Spook-A-Thon fundraiser at Sheraton hotel in Guildford

Search for missing B.C. man a race against winter weather

David Jeff of Williams Lake was last seen in Kamloops during the chaotic wildfire evacuations

Man steals police car, goes for a ‘slow’ ride

Mission RCMP say the motive of the theft is unknown

‘God is a Scottish Drag Queen’ comedy show playing Surrey has drawn flak elsewhere

In Mike Delamont’s solo show, ‘God’ is portrayed as a middle-aged, Scottish auntie

Most Read