You are here

Annual Events

 

Indigenous History Month (June)

Each June, we celebrate National Indigenous History Month to honour the history, heritage and diversity of Indigenous people. It's also an opportunity to recognize the strength of present-day Indigenous people and their communities.

In June, a number of events are held and resources made available so as to honour and learn from Indigenous people. Following is a list of some of these opportunities.

May 27 to Jun 3 - Reconciliation Flag Raised - Civic Square

Between May 27 and June 3, the Reconciliation Flag will be raised in Civic Square (beside City Hall off 23rd St E). The raised flag signals the start of a season of commemoration and reflection as June is Indigenous History Month and includes National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21).

The Reconciliation Flag represents a commitment to Reconciliation - the process of building bridges between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

Residents are invited to visit Civic Square to see the flag raised and to reflect on its significance.

JUNE - Read "ayisiyiniwak: A Communications Guide" - Indigenous culture and practices

Check out "ayisiyiniwak: A Communications Guide".

ayisiyiniwak was originally developed in 2017 by the City of Saskatoon in partnership with the Saskatchewan Indigenous Cultural Centre and the Office of the Treaty Commissioner as an educational resource for City employees to enhance their understanding of Indigenous culture and practices. Since then, copies of the guide have since been requested by organizations across Canada including government agencies, other municipalities, educational institutions and community groups.

ayisiyiniwak [a/yi/see/ni/wak) is Cree for ‘the people are speaking'. 

JUNE - Reconciliation Walking Tour

Visit places around Saskatoon that speak to the process of reconciliation including public art installations, sites of historical significance, renaming initiatives, and unique Indigenous and non-Indigenous partnerships.

More info and Walking Tour Booklet available here

JUNE - Read for Reconciliation

Make a commitment to read for reconciliation by accessing suggested materials through the local branch of your Saskatoon Public Library. More info here

JUNE - BeAConnectR - Resources for Reconciliation

Reconciliation Saskatoon's BeAConnectR website helps you choose your next steps towards reconciliation.

Find calls to action to grow what you know, encourage a shared future, and generate change. Link here

JUNE - Newborn Bison Exhibition at Remai Modern

Maanipokaa’iini is the first-ever survey of the work of the Siksika Nation artist Adrian Stimson. Across installation, painting, photography, video and live performance, Stimson re-signifies colonial history through humour and counter-memory. The exhibition features significant works from Stimson’s nearly 20-year practice that explore identity construction, the centrality of the bison to Blackfoot spirituality and survival, and the intergenerational impacts of the residential school system. More info here

JUNE - Art Exhibitions at Wanuskewin (various)
  • New Age Warriors by Catherine Blackburn - melds traditional form with contemporary design, using the framework of beading to explore cultural identity, memory, and history. 
  • mâc îpayiwin (Hunting on Horseback) - consisting of pieces from Wanuskewin’s permanent art collection, this exhibition explores the longstanding relationship between Indigenous peoples and horses. 
  • Ancient Pathways, A Bison Biography - explores the significance of bison in the cultures of Plains Indian peoples–particularly as a resource for food, clothing, shelter and tools.

More info here

JUNE - Daily Programming at Wanuskewin

Open 7 days a week, 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Daily offerings include: Dance Presentation, Bison Walk, Native Plant Walk, and Self Guided Options: 7 km walking trails, art galleries, new indoor exhibits & videos, award winning playground, scavenger hunts. More info here

NOTE: Programs are adjusted for weather including rain and wind. Call the main line at 306-931-6767 Ext. 9 to confirm the day's schedule.

Jun 1-2 - 4th Annual Spring Dakota Language Conference

Hybrid conference (in-person and virtual attendees) at Dakota Dunes Resort.

A gathering to bring together the Oceti Sakowin - Seven Council Fires of the Dakota, Nakota and Lakota from across US and Canada to share in best practices in reclamation, revitalization, preservation and strengthening our languages. More info here

Jun 3 - USask Annual Indigenous Graduation Celebration

Formerly known as Graduation Powwow. More info here

Jun 9 - Reconciliation Saskatoon OPEN Book Club (Afternoon)

Reconciliation Saskatoon will hold a virtual Book Club to discuss "The Land is Everything" edited by Tasha Hubbard and Marilyn Poitras. The book is available through the Saskatoon Public Library or the Office of the Treaty Commissioner. Meeting is via Zoom between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m. Join using this link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/81885259307. Open to all.

Jun 11 - Mapping the Ground We Stand On

To be held at the Emmanuel Anglican Church at 607 Dufferin Ave - 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

An interactive workshop exploring Indigenous and Settler relationships. You will be invited to explore the Indigenous presence on the map of Canada, the history of Settler arrival and their relationship to one another. It also offers an opportunity for learning and reflection on the concept of Terra Nullius - or "empty land" - and the Doctrine of Discovery as foundational to colonialism. Participants will walk on the map, reflect on their own presence on it, and discuss how they might respond to what they have learned. More info here

Jun 15 - Remai Modern's Reimagining "Canada Day" Event (Virtual)

Addressing the complex and problematic relationship many people have with Canada Day. This event will provide a safe, inclusive space that allows attendees to hear difficult truths about Canada’s history and the personal stories of those affected by racism. Next, there will be a discussion about how to move forward in a good way.

This event will feature: Spoken Word Artist, Tala Tootoosis; Métis Educator, John Lagimodiere; Youth/Community Organizer, Allison Forsberg; Newcomer/Author Michael Afenfia; Spoken Word Artist, Ahmad Majid; and more.

Event is via Zoom between 12:00 and 1:00 p.m. Register here

Jun 16 - Remai Modern's Reimagining "Canada Day" Event (In Person & Virtual)

Addressing the complex and problematic relationship many people have with Canada Day. This event will provide a safe, inclusive space that allows attendees to hear difficult truths about Canada’s history and the personal stories of those affected by racism. Next, there will be a discussion about how to move forward in a good way.

This event will feature: Spoken Word Artist, Tala Tootoosis; Métis Educator, John Lagimodiere; Youth/Community Organizer, Allison Forsberg; Newcomer/Author Michael Afenfia; Spoken Word Artist, Ahmad Majid; and more.

Between 12:00 and 1:30 p.m.

Two options to attend:
IN PERSON: Remai Modern Theatre (102 Spadina Cres E), admission free of charge. No registration required when attending in person. Reception to follow.
VIRTUAL: To attend via Zoom, register here

Jun 17 - Pow Wow Pwatisimowin

On June 17, between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., a Pow Wow or Pwatisimowin (Cree word for Pow Wow dancing) will be held in Saskatoon's Thornton Park (118 Isabella St E).

The event is held in honour of wītaskēwin (Reconciliation) on all levels of life. Performance categories include: Golden Age, Adult, Teen, Junior, Tiny Tots, Drum Senior, Drum Junior. Prizes will be awarded. The Master of Ceremonies will be Rodney Ballantyne; the performance director is to be Darrell Paskemin; and the drum coordinator is Farron Chamakese-Waskahat.

This event is an initiative of Saskatoon Public Schools' First Nation, Inuit and Métis Education Unit and the Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools. For more information, contact Delvin Kanewiyakiho

All are welcome.

Jun 21 - *** CANCELLED *** Rock Your Roots Walk for Reconciliation

*** 2022 event CANCELLED due to safety concerns posed by extreme weather ***

Due to safety concerns posed by flooding and the risk of lightning, the 2022 Rock Your Roots Walk for Reconciliation has been cancelled. 

The annual event is put on by Reconciliation Saskatoon, which the City of Saskatoon co-chairs along with the Office of the Treaty Commissioner. The intent is to answer the TRC Calls to Action by demonstrating a commitment to Reconciliation, honouring Residential School Survivors, and working towards an inclusive community.

Provided it’s safe to do so, the Rock Your Roots organizing committee encourages people to take their own walk of reconciliation at any time of day on National Indigenous Peoples Day – and to post to social media using the hashtag #RockYourRoots.

Jun 21 - Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration

The Saskatoon Indian & Métis Friendship Centre will be hosting an afternoon celebration at Victoria Park, beginning at 11:45 a.m. Schedule as follows:

11:45: Grand Entry
12:00: Remarks by Dignitaries
12:15: Lunch (no cost)
12:15 to 4:00: Cultural Performances

Check the National Indigenous Peoples Day 2022 Facebook Event Page for updates.

Jun 21 - Dakota Dunes Resort - Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration

Event is 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. at Dakota Dunes Resort. All activities are complimentary, and everyone is welcome to attend.

Indigenous dancers, horse drawn wagon rides and soup, bannock, and tea served.

Jun 22 - TRC Calls to Action inspire Indigenous art installation on Transit bus shelter

To coincide with Indigenous History Month and Indigenous Peoples Day, Saskatoon Transit unveiled its fourth bus shelter displaying Indigenous artwork. This shelter, located at 885 Confederation Drive, affirms Saskatoon Transit’s commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action #79.  

The art was created through a collaboration between the Saskatoon Survivors Circle and Indigenous artist, Justine "Tini" Stilborn. Stilborn worked to capture the reflections of the Survivors using visual art. She sought to tell the story of their past including the atrocities of residential schools, the Sixties Scoop, and those resulting from the child welfare and foster care system. But the artwork is also intended to capture the Survivors’ hopes for the future.  

Stilborn created her designs using Procreate and Adobe Illustrator which were then cut out of metal sheets by Metal Shapes Manufacturing.

The other 3 Saskatoon Transit bus shelters displaying Indigenous artwork are at the following locations: 

  • E.D. Feehan on the north side of Rusholme Road, west of Avenue M 
  • 12th Street and Broadway Avenue 
  • In front of Aden Bowman Collegiate (1904 Clarence Ave S)

More info here

Jun 23 - Reconciliation Saskatoon OPEN Book Club (Evening)

Reconciliation Saskatoon will hold a virtual Book Club to discuss "The Land is Everything" edited by Tasha Hubbard and Marilyn Poitras. The book is available through the Saskatoon Public Library or the Office of the Treaty Commissioner. Meeting is via Zoom between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. Join using this link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/81885259307. Open to all.

Jun 24 - #ActOnReconciliation - Take Your Own Walk of Reconciliation

Following the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (NDTR) on September 30, 2021, the Saskatoon Tribal Council initiated a campaign called #ActOnReconciliation. It’s intended to harness the momentum of NDTR and Orange Shirt Day (also September 30) and keep Reconciliation top of mind all year long. The campaign calls for action and awareness on the last Friday of each month in 2022.

The City is supporting the #ActOnReconciliation campaign by highlighting Reconciliation actions and activities. As well, to further heighten awareness, the City will apply an orange filter to their social media accounts and light the following civic facilities in orange: City Hall, the City’s Prairie Wind art installation outside the Remai Modern, and SaskTel Centre.

#ActOnReconciliation – June Action

On Friday, June 24, demonstrate your commitment to Reconciliation by:

  1. Wearing your EveryChildMatters shirt or any other orange shirt.
     
  2. Following the cancellation of the Rock Your Roots Walk for Reconciliation, consider planning to take your own Walk for Reconciliation. Walk alone or walk with friends and take some time to reflect personally on Reconciliation or to discuss. Residential School Survivors have indicated that the significance of a walk can be attributed to the Sunday walks in residential schools. This was often the only time when siblings and cousins of different genders might be reunited.
     
  3. Help build awareness for Reconciliation by joining the online conversation using hashtag #ActOnReconciliation.

Jul 1 - National Reimagining "Canada Day" Event - Virtual Tour of Ottawa

Reimagining "Canada Day" is a COVID-19 friendly, self-guided tour that takes you on a journey around Ottawa, which is on the unceded, unsurrendered, ancestral lands of the Algonquin Nation. You can do the tour in-person OR virtually from anywhere across Canada. More info here

 


 

2022 Rock Your Roots CANCELLED

Due to safety concerns posed by flooding and the risk of lightning, the 2022 Rock Your Roots Walk for Reconciliation has been cancelled.

Provided it’s safe to do so, the Rock Your Roots organizing committee encourages people to take their own walk of reconciliation at any time of day on National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21) – and to post to social media using the hashtag #RockYourRoots.

poster image for Rock Your Roots

Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21)

June 21 has been recognized annually as National Indigenous Peoples Day (formerly National Aboriginal Day) since 1996. For generations, many Indigenous communities have celebrated their culture and heritage on or near this day due to the significance of the Summer Solstice as the longest day of the year. This is a day to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding contributions of Indigenous people.

Rock Your Roots Walk for Reconciliation

The City of Saskatoon, in its role as Co-Chair of Reconciliation Saskatoon, helps organize the annual Rock Your Roots Walk for Reconciliation on Indigenous Peoples Day. The significance of a walk can be attributed to the Sunday walks in residential schools; often the only time when siblings and cousins might be reunited. 

Rock Your Roots has been an annual event in Saskatoon since 2016 (modified during the height of COVID). It's a chance for all Saskatoon residents to answer the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's Calls to Action by demonstrating their commitment to Reconciliation, honouring Residential School Survivors, and working towards an inclusive community.

EVENT INFO:
10:00: Arrive in Victoria Park (Spadina Cres W and 17th St W)
10:30-11:30: Walk along Saskatoon riverbank, beginning/ending in Victoria Park

Walkers are invited to wear their cultural regalia or an orange shirt.

Cultural performances take place along the way, showcasing Saskatoon's incredible diversity.

For anyone unable to walk the route, please email WalkForReconciliation@gmail.com to request a ride in a golf cart.

VIDEO: History of Rock Your Roots

 


 

National Day for Truth & Reconciliation
& Orange Shirt Day (Sept 30)

Since 2013, Canada has recognized September 30th as Orange Shirt Day—a day to acknowledge the impacts of residential schools. Wearing orange is a way to honour residential school survivors, their families, and those who didn’t make it home. It’s a way to acknowledge the legacy of residential schools, demonstrate a commitment to reconciliation, and affirm Every Child Matters. The origin of the orange shirt comes from the personal story of residential school survivor, Phyllis Webstad.

In 2021, in the wake of locating unmarked graves at residential schools across Canada, the federal government passed legislation to also designate September 30th as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Going forward, the day will mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day. 

Sept 2021 Reconciliation Events & Activities Calendar
News Release - Sept 30, 2021 marks first National Day for Truth & Reconciliation
News Release - City to recognize National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (Sept 30, 2021) as Stat
2021 Poster
Orange Shirt Stencil (for print and display)

 


 

Wîcihitowin Indigenous Engagement Conference (October)

In 2014, a group of Saskatchewan Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations came together with the common purpose of honouring survivors of the residential school system and sixties scoop, and supporting the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. 

Through the creation of the Wîcihitowin Indigenous Engagement Conference, Residential School Survivors were given a platform to share their voices and their teachings with the hope of inspiring respectful engagement and meaningful inclusion of Indigenous peoples’ within the community, and the creation of resources and tools needed to create culturally respectful organizations. “Wîcihitowin”, a Cree/Saulteaux term meaning “to help each other/to work together”, is the driving force for the now annual event. The City of Saskatoon has been a proud partner of this event since its inception.

This conference is for anyone working towards respectful Indigenous engagement and inclusion in a community-based setting. Learn more and register at wicihitowin.ca.

2021 Conference Poster
News Release - Registration for Wîcihitowin Indigenous Engagement Conference at all time high (Sept 27-2021)