Previously called National Aboriginal Day, June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day. Events celebrating First Nation’s culture take place throughout the region.
Indigenous Peoples Day in the Lower Mainland
Best places to enjoy First Nations dancing, art and festivities in the Lower Mainland include Trout Lake at John Hendry Park and various other locations from the Fraser Valley to Richmond.
Click on any of the following links to jump to event details at a specific location, or continue reading to learn about National Indigenous People’s Day celebrations throughout the Lower Mainland:
National Indigenous Day at Trout Lake
Vancouver’s main National Indigenous People’s Day celebrations begin on June 21st at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre at 1607 East Hastings Street.
The event there is followed later in the morning with a Friendship Walk starting at 11 am from the Friendship Centre to Trout Lake along Commercial Drive. Festivities at the park then continue from around 12 pm until the late afternoon.
Celebrations at Trout Lake feature First Nations dance performances, canoeing, art displays and cultural learning opportunities.
The June 21st National Indigenous Day celebrations at Trout Lake are free and everyone is welcome.
Click Trout Lake Indigenous Day Celebrations for more information.
Bill Reid Gallery (in Vancouver)
To commemorate National Indigenous Peoples Day, most (but not all) years the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art downtown is free to the public on June 21st between 2 and 5 pm. Last year the gallery was in fact free all day on National Indigenous Peoples Day. Hopefully it will be in 2019 too.
There isn’t usually dancing and entertainment like at Trout Lake, but with free admission it’s a great time to visit the gallery and see some exceptional Northwest Coast First Nations art.
Click Bill Reid Gallery for more on the Gallery.
Indigenous Peoples Day in Richmond
Celebratory activities take place outside the Gulf of Georgia Cannery in Steveston Village on Saturday, June 22, in 2019, from 12 to 4 pm.
Click National Indigenous Peoples Day in Richmond for more information.
Indigenous Day in Fort Langley
National Indigenous Peoples Day activities take place at the historic site of Fort Langley on Saturday, June 22, 2019. The schedule for the day was the following last year (and we expect it to be similar in 2019):
- 11 am – Guided Tour
- 12 pm – Walking Tour with Fern Gabriel
- 1 pm – Drumming and Singing performance
- 2 pm – Bake Oven Demonstration
- 3 pm – Guided Tour
Click Fort Langley for further details about the site and the event. Regular admission rates apply.
National Indigenous Peoples Day in Maple Ridge
Maple Ridge celebrated the day last with activities at the Memorial Peace Park on Saturday, June 23. From 10 am until 2 pm there was Indigenous dancing, music and other cultural activities, as well as a Bannock cook-off, farmers market, games and crafts. We expect 2019 to be similar although the date and details are to be confirmed.
Click Aboriginal Day in Maple Ridge for further details.
National Aboriginal Day in Mission
National Indigenous Day celebrations are hosted by the Mission Friendship Centre. Last year the celebrations took place on June 21, which was a weekday, at Fraser River Heritage Park at 7494 Mary Street from 1 until 6 pm. 2019 will likely be similar, although details are to be confirmed.
Entertainment includes jingle, fancy, tot and hoop dancers. There is also drumming, a silent auction, balloon animal making, bouncy castles, face painting and both food and artisan vendors. It’s definitely a family-friendly event!
Click Mission Aboriginal Day Celebrations for more information.
Indigenous Peoples Day in Port Moody
The National Indigenous People’s Day Celebration took place in Port Moody last year on Thursday, June 21, at Rocky Point Park. Activities ran from 6 until 9 pm and included drumming, singing and a free community feast. Attendees were encouraged to bring their own picnic blanket, plate and eating utensils. We expect 2019 details to be similar.
See the Port Moody Ecology Society‘s website for more details.
National Indigenous Peoples Day in Surrey
Activities were on Thursday, June 21, in 2018, and they ran between 3 and 8 pm. A free community barbecue took place from 4:30 until 6:30 pm. All were welcome.
2019 details are to be confirmed.
For information about other related events at other times of the year, click Lower Mainland First Nations.
For a list of other types of events throughout the year, click Festivals & Events Calendar.