Semiahmoo First Nation and the City of White Rock will be celebrating National Indigenous People’s Day on Sunday, June 21.
But instead of a physical ceremony this year, due to COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings, the day will be marked by the release of two videos – one by SFN Chief Harley Chappell, the other by White Rock Mayor Darryl Walker – both on a theme of working together for a prosperous future for all residents of the Peninsula.
Links to the videos will appear on the City of White Rock website (whiterockcity.ca) this week, and will also be viewable on YouTube.
The city is recognized as being located on the traditional, unceded territory of the SFN.
For generations, many indigenous peoples and communities have celebrated their culture and heritage on or near June 21 due to the significance of the summer solstice as the longest day of the year. The government of Canada, in co-operation with indigenous communities, formalized the date as National Aboriginal Day – now National Indigenous People’s Day – in 1996.
According to a media release from SFN and the city, it’s a day for all Canadians to recognize and honour the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples.
“As we come together on National Indigenous Peoples Day, we also want to acknowledge the productive and prosperous relationship that we have built in recent years with the City of White Rock, particularly under the leadership of Mayor Darryl Walker,” Chappell said in the release.
“As we continue to move forward in the spirit of reconciliation, it is gratifying to know we have trusted partners at the City who are committed to those same principles.”
“The Semiahmoo First Nation is a close friend and ally,” Walker added in the release. “(The city) is grateful for the relationship and the opportunities that we share for the future.”