June 21, 2022: National Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration in Thompson, MB. Photo taken by Jessica Merasty-Moose.

Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) Inc. was pleased to play a part in organizing the annual National Indigenous Peoples Day (NIPD) celebrations in Thompson, which took place on June 21, 2022.

Celebrations for June 21 start well before the actual date of the summer solstice. MKO thanks all partners from the Thompson Urban Aboriginal Strategy for working hard to organize a successful celebration.

On June 20, 2022, 25 five people help set up a tipi and received beautiful teachings.

The NIPD celebration kicked off at 4:30 am on June 21 with a sunrise ceremony. MKO thanks the 27 people who joined for the ceremony, including representatives from CBC News, Vale, Strathallen, Canadian Mental Health Association, University College of the North, RCMP, and City of Thompson.

The sunrise ceremony was the first of many festivities planned for MacLean Park. There was live entertainment throughout the day, emceed by Starlett Beardy and David Sanderson.

A wide variety of activities took place, including opening ceremonies; seven teachings booths; jingle dress making activities; a hotdog lunch; Cree and Dene drum groups; traditional dancing; natural medicines teachings; tipi lowering teaching; children’s activities; a stew and bannock dinner; Soaring Eagle Awards; a round dance; and closing ceremonies.

“The 2022 NIPD event in Thompson was a success,” shared Grand Chief Garrison Settee. “On behalf of MKO, I thank all the community members who came to celebrate our traditions and culture with us on June 21. This year’s event had about 1000 attendees, which is the biggest crowd we have seen out for NIPD to date. It is always good to be Indigenous. I also extend appreciation to everyone who worked hard on this event, including Gina Spence and other MKO staff, as your work helped us celebrate our identity as Indigenous people in a good way.”

June 21, 2022: National Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration in Thompson, MB. Photo taken by Jessica Merasty-Moose.

MKO also recognizes the Thompson Urban Aboriginal Strategy partners that organized the NIPD event in Thompson. MKO also thanks everyone who sponsored and donated to the day’s festivities.

A team from CBC Manitoba was live on location and broadcast many of the events on CBC News on radio and television. MKO thanks the CBC staff members who travelled to Thompson to share stories from Northern Manitoba with your listeners and viewers.

To view photos from the day’s activities, please visit: https://jcormierphotography.passgallery.com/-nationalindigenouspeoplesday2022/gallery