On Sunday, June 21, MKO hosted a virtual celebration of Indigenous cultures. The day began at 5 am with a sunrise pipe ceremony conducted by Elder Jack Robinson & Ron Cook.

Elder Marie Ballantyne opened the event with a prayer and the raising of the Tipi provided a stunning cultural visual background during the official 2020 NIPD flag raising.

MKO, Chief Shirley Ducharme brought heartfelt greetings to all and with the presence of Mayor Colleen Smook & City Councilors offering their celebratory greetings and acknowledgement of National Indigenous Peoples Day this opened up the event with an inspiring beginning to the day.

The Thompson Fire Department staff also were in attendance and assisted MKO Chief Ducharme and Mayor Smook as they together hoisted the flag.

The MKO-NIPD committee believes this to be our steppingstone towards building bridges of reconciliation and to establish our Indigenous presence as vital contributors within the City of Thompson MB.

“This year was very different for the MKO National Indigenous Peoples Day Committee as our plans had to respond to the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic,” shared Shyanna Lynxleg, Coordinator of the Thompson Urban Aboriginal Strategy and Chair of the NIPD Committee. “The Government of Canada cancelled all outdoor gatherings of significant amounts of people. Our NIPD Committee decided to provide a virtual experience to celebrate the diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Dene/Inuit, and Métis peoples.”

“We know that many people were missing the in-person gatherings that are normally held on June 21, however, the committee planners we were very aware that we must work to keep our families and city safe by following the safety measures in place for social distancing and other preventative measures,” said Ms. Lynxleg.

“For Indigenous people, seeing the flag raised helps us feel proud of our identity. It is important that our contributions are recognized and the flag raising event is a positive step towards reconciliation,” said Grand Chief Garrison Settee. “This is a step towards building more awareness of Indigenous cultures in Thompson.”

MKO-National Indigenous Peoples Day Committee has EXTENDED the CONTESTS date to June 26, 2020, at 4:00 PM.

There was also a Home/Yard/Balcony/Apartment Window Indigenous Peoples Day theme contest, as well as a youth art and coloring contest, a presentation of the Soaring Eagle awards, a jigging contest, a talent show contest, and families also had the option to pick up treat bags for children from the MKO office.

Many people have been unable to decorate/other due to the weather, so we are extending the submission dates on all contests

Please feel free to submit to any of the contest anytime up until June 26, 2020
Visit here for the page: https://tinyurl.com/NIPD-2020

Drawing contest
Coloring contest
Home, yard, window, and balcony decorating contest
Virtual jigging contest
Virtual talent show.

Soaring Eagle Awards
These awards are given each year to young people in Thompson who are nominated by their teachers and who demonstrate their culture and active volunteerism within each of their respective schools.

The 2020 Soaring Eagle Award Recipients are;

Grade K-3 Category

  • Carlina Chubb, Grade 1 Juniper. Nominated by A. Fergusson:
  • Jimmy Baker Spence, Grade 2 Westwood. Nominated by A. Nsi

Grade 4-6 Category

  • Lily Moose, Grade 5 Wapanohk, Nominated by M. Dumas:
  • Anei Dysart-Spence, Grade 6 Wapanohk, Nominated by L. Sopkowe:
  • Jasmine Spence, Grade 5 Burntwood, Nominated by A. Fulton:

Grade 7-8 Category

  • Gina Chastelaine, Grade 8 Juniper, Nominated by S. Porth
  • Brooklynn Wastesicoot, Grade 8 Wapanohk, nominated by P. Grieves:

Grade 9-12 Category

  • Taylar Hanson-Oliveira, Grade 12 RDPC, Nominated by C. McKay
  • Caden Spence, Grade 11, RDPC, Nominated by M. Ponask.

MKO thanks the members of the National Indigenous Peoples Day Committee for their hard work in planning the events for this special commemorative day.

The members of the committee are:

  • George Neepin-Executive Director Keewatin Tribal Council
  • Tara Ritchie-VALE
  • Chelsea Farough-Canadian Mental Health Association
  • Loretta Dykun-School District of Mystery Lake
  • Katie Nachbaur-Ma-Mow-We-Tak Friendship Centre
  • Ron Cook- Community Helper
  • Kevin Cashman-Community Helper
  • Sandra Trottier-Manitoba Metis Federation
  • Monica Beardy, Thompson Neighbourhood Renewal Corporation
  • Anthony McInnis-City of Thompson
  • Shyanna Lynxleg-MKO-Thompson Urban Aboriginal Strategy.


Tansi, Edlaneth’e, Anin, Hello, Bonjour,

On behalf of the MKO-National Indigenous Peoples Day Committee 2020.

This Indigenous Peoples Day is really about the celebration of our life, it’s about the honour that we are creating as indigenous people and non-indigenous people together.
We are going to celebrate that we are a community , it’s all on delivering a message that despite the pandemic that has seized the country & the world, we want to help alleviate those fears somewhat by continuing our National Indigenous Day celebration…that we are Indigenous…strong, proud and resilient, also that we carry those 7 sacred teachings in our footsteps, and to also celebrate that we all matter, that we all are important, and that we all are respectfully cared about.
Quite often the stigma of Indigenous people isn’t always positive, and the outcomes of that can be incredibly challenging.

So, what we are really doing is taking this virtual opportunity to help correct the stigma, to help show that we contribute so much to our City of Thompson and to just enjoy ourselves, have fun, have some laughter and create great community spirit.
And most certainly, our goal on this National Indigenous Peoples Day 2020, will be assuring that the Indigenous people in this city really hear those messages.
We want Indigenous people who live in Thompson to know they matter, and that they belong here, and that our allies do support us and our celebratory message.
A huge thank you to all who have sent virtual greetings to the NIPD 2020 event page, and to the committee members and their organizations, governments and corporations that they are affiliated too, as well as the helpers from the community of Thompson.,” said Ms. Lynxleg.

I would like to take this time to send our heartfelt gratitude to the MKO Program Managers that without their support & resources we would not have had a NIPD 2020 to this extent, thank you to:

  • Duke Bready-Traditional Healers Program.
  • Larry Flett-ISETS-Program
  • Sharon McKay-KIM Program Manager
  • Shirley Allarie-Child Welfare Unit Manager
  • Justin Courchene-Crisis Response Team Manager
  • Hilda Anderson-Pyrz-MMIWG Liaison Unit Manager.

The NIPD committee also recognizes and thanks MKO, MMIWG Program Manager Hilda Anderson-Pyrz for her amazing help as she always brings her heart and spirit throughout the entire day to the event.

Last, but certainly not least, the NIPD committee’s extends tremendous gratitude to the MKO Executive Director Kelvin Lynxleg who has continually provided unwavering support year after year to the National Indigenous Peoples Day.

I hope everyone enjoys our virtual experience for this National Indigenous Peoples Day and has great fun in watching our events on our Facebook NIPD 2020 Event page!

Take Care and Be Safe,

Ekosi, Masi Choo, Meegwetch, Merci, Thank You

Shyanna Lynxleg, MKO Thompson Urban Aboriginal Strategy & Chair of the NIPD Committee