From celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day and Indigenous History Month, to unveiling new Legacy Spaces and hosting Legacy School visits with the Wenjacks — June was an incredible, jam-packed month! Check out everything we got up to below!
National Indigenous Peoples Day
Students gathered at Scotiabank Arena in downtown Toronto for a day of education and celebration in honour of National Indigenous Peoples Day. Theland Kicknosway opened the event with a special teaching and hoop dance performance. Photo by Tom Pandi.
On June 21st, 2022, DWF proudly partnered with Scotiabank and Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment (MLSE) for a special one-day event to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day.
Over 1,000 students gathered at Scotiabank Arena in downtown Toronto, and thousands more joined virtually, to hear from Indigenous Elders, performers, speakers and artists, who showcased their work, stories, and knowledge. Students had the honour of hearing from the Wenjack and Downie families about how we can continue to move reconciliation forward in our lives and communities.
Pearl (Wenjack) Achneepineskum, Chanie Wenjack’s sister, shared important reflections on reconciliation alongside the Wenjack and Downie families. Photo by Aaron Critchley.
After the concert, students visited a series of learning stations around the concourse of the arena and participated in meaningful discussions on Indigenous knowledge, language, and culture.
Dashmaawaan Bemaadzinjin (They Feed the People) taught students about the history of Indigenous foods and their relationship to colonization at this learning station, where students also enjoyed tasty Bannock bites! Photo by Tom Pandi.
Visit our website today to watch the concert, learn more about the learning stations, and enjoy photos from the day!
Indigenous History Month 2022
This Indigenous History Month, we learned about different Indigenous languages, sacred herbs and medicines from the land, traditional songs, Indigenous inventions, and more! Our episodes featured teachings and performances from the Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan, and New Brunswick, ending with a special Canada-wide episode that highlighted the beauty of these three regions.
From all of us at DWF, thank you for joining us for Indigenous History Month 2022 and making it one of our biggest celebrations to date! In case you missed any of this year’s programming, you can view all four episodes any time over on our YouTube channel or on our website.
Legacy Schools Celebrations
Chanie Wenjack’s sisters Pearl, Daisy, and Evelyn visited Harriet Tubman Public School in the District School Board of Niagara, Ontario. Students participated in a Water Walk around the schools and the Wenjacks were able to learn and share in this important initiative.
June was a busy month for Legacy Schools! We announced the winners of our poster contest, and celebrated First Nations, Inuit, and Métis cultures by hosting 20 virtual art workshops at schools in different provinces and territories. We also hosted five in-person Legacy Schools visits with Artist Ambassadors and the Wenjack sisters.
Wenjack sisters shared with students at Crossroads Public School in the District School Board of Niagara, Ontario.
Legacy Spaces Update
Sarah Midanik, Tristen Durocher, Bob Watts, and Patrick Downie attended the launch of two Legacy Spaces at The Bay and Hudson’s Bay head offices. One of the Legacy Spaces features a painting by DWF Artist Ambassador Blake Angeconeb.
In June, the Hudson’s Bay Foundation unveiled two Legacy Spaces at The Bay and Hudson’s Bay head offices in Toronto. The Legacy Spaces feature an interactive experience where visitors can watch or listen to the Secret Path animated film and documentary, view the art pieces on display, access educational materials, and sit for contemplation.
One of the Legacy Spaces also features a poignant piece from DWF Artist Ambassador Blake Angeconeb. In his words, “The painting shows five figures and various animals. The snake represents the dark history of colonialism and residential schools. It is positioned to be at the back to represent the past as the spirits and animals move forward together. This will help acknowledge the horrendous history but also put light on what’s important and that’s working together to move forward.”