The northwestern Ontario and Treaty #3 communities are set to come together and take a step towards reconciliation today as we collectively honour the region’s culture, history and heritage on National Indigenous Peoples Day.

A number of activities and events are taking place today at 371 Strecker Road hosted by the Kenora Chiefs Advisory, Grand Council Treaty #3 and the Ne-Chee Friendship Centre. They include carnival games and bouncy castles, canoeing, yoga, live music, an Indigenous fashion show and more.

Around 750 students and staff members from the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board and the Kenora Catholic District School Board are headed to today’s events, with about 450 from the KPDSB and 300 from Kenora Catholic attending.

Director of Education for Kenora Catholic, Paul White, touched on the importance of the community coming together and on students being a part of it.

“Today we have more than 300 students going out to National Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations. We’re very proud of our students. We always want to make sure that all of our students, staff and community feel welcome and included within our school system.”

Other initiatives taking place in the Kenora area include Indigenous-inspired artwork from local students being displayed in local businesses until June 24, and an Honouring Our Graduates Pow-Wow under the Whitecap Pavilion hosted by Bimose Tribal Council.

National Indigenous Peoples Day celebrates the culture and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Indigenous peoples of Canada, and encourages Canadians to take a step forward on the path toward reconciliation. It takes place every June 21.