Hip-hop artist Samian, legendary singer Buffy Sainte-Marie and a reunion of the hot folk-rock group Kashtin will highlight this year’s National Aboriginal Day celebrations, which will be held in two spots this time—Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Regina, Saskatchewan.
The two-venue extravaganza is the pinnacle of the month-long National Aboriginal History Month, which starts on June 1 and ends with Canada Day on July 1.
For the sixth year the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) is sponsoring the free concert, Aboriginal Day Live & Celebration, which will feature aboriginal music’s biggest stars. The Winnipeg event will be hosted by Don Kelly, who stars in the APTN hit series Fish Out of Water. Also emceeing will be Canday Palmater, a comedian who stars in The Candy Show, and APTN’s Upload star, Chantelle.
In Regina the hosts will be First Nations producer and actress Jennifer Podemski as well as aboriginal DJ and actress Crystle Lightning, APTN said in a media release.
Aboriginal History Month is when the country recognizes its original inhabitants and their contribution to the history of the nation. It’s “an opportunity to honor the heritage, contribution and cultures of Aboriginal peoples in Canada,” as the ministry of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development (AAND) puts it. Moreover, “June 21st kick starts the 11 days of Celebrate Canada! which includes National Aboriginal Day (June 21), Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day (June 24), Canadian Multiculturalism Day (June 27) and concludes with Canada Day (July 1)!”
The Forks in Winnipeg, Manitoba and First Nations University of Canada in Regina, Saskatchewan, will host this year’s major National Aboriginal Day celebrations. The Forks has been a gathering place for 6,000 years, according to CBC News, traditionally for the Ojibwe and Dakota, and stands at the meeting point of the Red and Assiniboine rivers.
Other standout acts include Inuk singer Beatrice Deer, a Quebecois who mixes traditional Inuit throat singing into her modern music, and country singer Adam James of Australia, who will bring with him a passion for indigenous education, according to APTN. The show will be broadcast to 200,000-plus people across the country and available to the 400,000 people who may listen on NCI-FM and STREETZ radio stations in Winnipeg, APTN’s broadcast partners.
Events are occurring all across the country for Aboriginal Day. AAND has a growing list on its website.