With June being recognized as National Indigenous History Month, there was no shortage of local acknowledgements on National Indigenous Peoples Day, June 21.

A flag raising ceremony accompanying celebrating Indigenous heritage, art and culture while recognizing the contributions of Indigenous Peoples to their native Canada.

“As a country, we now have an opportunity to re-frame history by adding and honouring the often-excluded experiences of Canada’s Indigenous Peoples through Truth and Reconciliation,” says Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “By coming together, we are promoting peace, harmony and goodwill. We say thank you to those who have come before us, paving a way toward a bright and prosperous future.”

Jake Charles, a traditional Anishinaabe knowledge sharer, teacher and cultural guide to the Chippewas of Georgina Island perform a song at the celebrations.

Joining him was Kyle Laforme of the Mississaugas of New Credit First Nation, who performed a hoop dance. This form of storytelling through dance with and Indigenous hoop dancer forming shapes using hoops while moving to traditional music.

These hoops are supposed to represent animals, traditional symbols and designs and spheres.

Several key staff from the city spoke at the celebrations, as did the Hounourable Jane Philpott, MP Markham-Stouffville.

Click HERE for more information about National Indigenous Peoples Day.

(Photos courtesy of Martin Kwok Photography)