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Saskatoon celebrates a rainy National Aboriginal Day
Published Tuesday, June 21, 2011 6:31PM CST
Hundreds gathered in Friendship Park in Saskatoon Tuesday, celebrating National Aboriginal Day despite the rain.
Events across the country marked Canada's past, and the role First Nations and Metis have played throughout the years. Robert Doucette, with Metis Nation, says the day is an important celebration of history.
"It's like a family day for everybody, not only Metis and First Nations, but it's a day when all cultures can come together and embrace the rich history of Metis and First Nations," says Doucette.
In Saskatoon, every detail is calculated, right down to the site of ceremony. Mayor Atchison says Friendship Park was the perfect place for the celebration.
"Chief Whitecap and John Lake actually founded Saskatoon, so it was an Aboriginal and a European, so it's a good time for us to get together, remember our roots, and to celebrate not only our success in the past, but the present and into the future," says Atchison.
The focus on the future is strongly tied to this year's celebration, which is geared at opening doors and empowering youth, a message that resonates with many in attendance, like Denis Fisher. "Behind it is education, and what can anybody do with that, and they're making such strides in that area."
"Aboriginal youth are going to be leading the way in this country so it's important for us to be connected that way," agrees Doucette.
MLA Ken Cheveldayoff says looking to the future of First Nation and Metis culture helps promote leadership for today's youth. "It's all about role models, and it's about leaders and that's what we see happening in Saskatchewan that we have many of them, and its important on days like today to celebrate the rich culture that we have with Metis and First Nation people from across the province."