National Aboriginal Day Festivities at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump and Government House

On Sunday June 21, join our country, and our province, in celebrating the diverse heritage and history of Aboriginal Peoples for National Aboriginal Day.

Almost 20 years ago in 1996, the federal government proclaimed June 21 of every year as National Aboriginal Day. On this day and throughout the month of June communities across Canada host events to celebrate the cultures, histories, achievements and contributions of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples to Canada.

There are a number of events and activities taking place across Alberta to mark National Aboriginal Day including some great opportunities at our own provincially-owned sites.

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump celebrations: dancing, drumming and more.

This is the perfect opportunity for Albertans and visitors to travel where the foothills of the Rocky MountainHSIBJ_2015s meet the Great Plains and discover one of the world’s oldest, largest, and best preserved buffalo jumps — Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump. The Jump was used as a method of hunting practiced by First Peoples of the North American plains for nearly 6,000 years!

In 1981, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump as a World Heritage Site placing it among other world heritage monuments such as the Egyptian pyramids, Stonehenge and the Galapagos Islands.

On Sunday, June 21 be sure to take in all that Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump has to offer. This includes a guided tour of the interpretive centre and taking a short, incredibly scenic hike to the jump; sample delicious Blackfoot delicacies; and don’t miss the superb program of First Nations performers drumming and dancing on the plaza. You can also experience an opening prayer by a Blackfoot Elder, a flag raising song by the Blackfoot Drum Group and traditional games demonstrations. Don’t forget to also check out the special display by the Alberta Birds of Prey Foundation.

Government House Art Tour

Alberta’s Government House is located in Edmonton and was the official residence of the Province’s first six Lieutenant Governors. Today Government House hosts a wide variety of government, vice regal and state functions, as well as public events.GovernmentHouse_2015

New this year, Government House is offering a special art tour to replace regular tours on Sunday, June 21 in honour of National Aboriginal Day. The tour will feature 20 works of art, featuring Aboriginal artists and late 19th, early 20th century non-Aboriginal artists who depicted Aboriginal life of the time. The tour is free on a first-come, first-serve basis with no sign-up required. Guides will be available between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

We hope to see you out celebrating National Aboriginal Day!

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