National Indigenous Peoples Day

The City of Medicine Hat honours National Indigenous Peoples Day

National Indigenous Peoples Day is recognized annually on June 21 within National Indigenous History Month. This aligns with the significance of the summer solstice for Indigenous peoples, who have celebrated their cultures on the longest day of the year for centuries. 

The City of Medicine Hat honours National Indigenous Peoples Day, a day to honour the rich history and traditions, diverse cultures and important contributions of Indigenous peoples in our community.


National Indigenous Peoples Day ceremony
Join us at City Hall in the Helen Beny Lounge the afternoon of June 21 from 2 to 4 p.m. to participate in a smudging Ceremony in the Blackfoot Tradition with Brenda Mercer,  receive stories from Brenda, and hear from City of Medicine Hat Mayor Linnsie Clark about how the City is working to celebrate Indigeneity.

*note: Earlier communications stated we would be joined by Elder Charlie Fox. Elder Charlie unfortunately cannot attend, though we thank him for considering our event.
Block Party - Celebrating Indigeneity
Celebrate Indigenous peoples and culture at the Celebrating Indigeneity Block Party on June 22 from noon to 4 p.m.! Enjoy local Indigenous vendors, participate in story sharing, join a drum circle, and watch a ribbon skirt fashion show. Learn from Elder Charlie Fox about proper protocol when meeting an Elder, the significance of his headdress, and the presentation of tobacco.

Story sharing

Brenda Mercer and Davie James pose for a photo, courtesy of Linda Hoang
Celebrating Indigeneity: Honouring Tradition and Community in Medicine Hat

June 21 is recognized in Canada as National Indigenous Peoples Day. For centuries, Indigenous Peoples have celebrated the summer solstice on June 21, the reawakening of everything beautiful in nature. No better day, then, to celebrate the beauty of Indigenous culture than the day with the longest light.

As a celebration of Indigenous cultural heritages, the City of Medicine Hat is celebrating Indigeneity (in-dij-uh-NEE-uh-tee) this month with several events. One such event, the Celebrating Indigeneity Block Party in Towne Square on June 22, is an effort to move from reconciliation to reconcili-action.

Three Indigenous leaders from our community will be at the event, graciously sharing their traditions and customs. Learn more about them here. 

City projects and initiatives

Ancestors Reburial Project

The City of Medicine Hat, the Miywasin Friendship Centre, and the University of Alberta are actively working together to rebury the remains and associated burial artifacts of three ancestors held in public trust at the University of Alberta. These three institutions have come together to form the Medicine Hat Ancestors Reburial Project and all partners are committed to the reburial of these ancestors in a respectful manner in their original resting place of Medicine Hat. 


Truth and Reconciliation

The City of Medicine Hat acknowledges that we live and work on treaty territory. The City pays respect to all Indigenous Peoples and honours their past, present and future. We recognize and respect their cultural heritages and relationships to the land. The City of Medicine Hat celebrates the strengths and resilience of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit cultures and acknowledges the vibrant tapestry of Indigenous history that enriches our community.


Indigenous Arts & Culture

View the large installation Whispers in the Forest…  currently on exhibit in the exhibition In Our Nature. Heather Shillinglaw is a member of the Cold Lake First Nations in Northern Alberta. Shillinglaw travelled to Medicine Hat in April to lead a blessing ceremony for the exhibition. 
The Archives tell stories through the records preserved within our collections. Hear from City of Medicine Hat Archivist Philip Pype about how our community archives have been working to expand the traditional approach to archival keeping in order to honour the stories of local Indigenous People. 
“In my work, I am committed to righting the wrongs that First Nations peoples have endured by creating art that focuses on cultural, social and political injustices. As an artist, educator and cultural worker, my goal is a better world. It is my job to show the pride, strength and beauty of First Nations people and cultures, and contribute to the betterment of mankind.”