National Indigenous Peoples Day invites us to learn more about Indigenous history, perspectives and culture, and helps us build stronger relationships rooted in mutual respect and understanding.
We’re taking the opportunity to spotlight some of the wonderful initiatives and events shared with us by Indigenous leaders and communities across Ontario:
Visit MacGregor Point on July 22, 2023 for storytelling and a medicine walk hosted by Chastity Jenner Keeshig and John Keeshig from Cape Croker.
Keep an eye on the park’s social media for more information.
Visit the park in October for Stars over Killarney, where guest speaker Anong Beam of Beam Paint teaches the Ojibwe traditions of how to create and appreciate art and painting through the creation of pigments from various natural materials.
Killbear is celebrating the summer solstice.
Join the park for a morning of hand drumming, traditional Anishinabek water and strawberry ceremonies and a dance to the rhythm of Mother Earth’s heartbeat.
Last held in 2019, the park is looking forward to reviving their Social event in 2023!
Don’t forget to stop by the Visitor Centre and check out the Oshkinigig exhibit, a traditionally-made birch bark canoe by the Georgian Bay Anishinaabek Youth.
French River Provincial Park (and Killarney) offer several “Tipi Teachings” in partnership with the French River Visitor Centre First Nations and Aboriginal Advisory Committee (FRVCFNAAC) throughout the summer.
These events have shared teachings about the medicine wheel, the tipi, and how to live a good life.
Everyone is welcome to attend the 14th Annual Gathering and Pow Wow at French River in September.
Keep an eye on French River’s events page for updates!
In partnership with local Indigenous communities, Rondeau is hosting programming that includes storytelling, singing, dancing and art workshops at the park.
These programs run throughout the year from Family Day weekend in the winter to programming throughout the summer and fall.
Currently, representatives from three different communities are involved in the programming at Rondeau: Aamjiwnaang, Caldwell First Nation, and the Eelünaapéewi Lahkéewiit.
Learn more about “Gathering” at Rondeau.
Visiting a local festival? You might find Indigenous storybooks that were created by the Caldwell First Nation for Rondeau.
Algonquin recently hosted a special event with Whitney St. Mary’s of Touring Catholic School, Algonquins of Ontario, and the Algonquin Discovery program at a culturally significant site on the Madawaska River. The event was called Friends by the River/Wichkiweg Zibing.
The park met with 15 students ranging from grade 3 to 8, where they celebrated the natural and cultural history of the river with a water song, bannock lunch by the fire, and guided walks/sessions on the flora and fauna of the river
Visit Algonquin’s set of three exhibits/panels on Indigenous stories and knowledge at the Visitor Centre.
These three projects are courtesy of the relationship between local Indigenous communities and our Northwestern Zone’s school programs!
Parks worked with Dennis Franklin Cromarty (DFC) to run programming in their high school classes to connect students to natural resources.
Staff also coordinated programming for the Kendomang Zhagodenamnon Lodge Program at Hammerskjold High School. This program facilitates community outreach with Indigenous students. This year, LZ Lodge students built fisher boxes at Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park. Staff and students deployed the boxes, hiked a trail, and discovered new trail cam footage.
Finally, the Pope John Paul II Guidance Program connects elementary students to their local natural and cultural resources. Students explored Kakabeka Falls’ Mountain Portage Trail and the history of the fur trade as it relates to the park.
An ongoing commitment
Ontario Parks is committed to a journey of meaningful reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
This National Indigenous History Month, we encourage all our visitors to take time to reflect on and learn about the distinct cultures, languages, and experiences of Indigenous peoples.