Citizens, their families and friends are invited to take part in the celebrations and events of Aboriginal Awareness Week Calgary (AAWC), June 15-21. It’s a week of understanding and awareness of Aboriginal cultures, traditions, contributions and achievements within Canadian society.
The weeklong activities culminate in National Aboriginal Awareness Day, Saturday, June 21.
“What you will really see in this week-long celebration is how proud our Aboriginal peoples are of their place in our community and their influence on our shared culture and traditions,” said Mayor Naheed Nenshi. “Participating in even one event can open your eyes to how deeply we are all connected.”
The foundation for AAWC was set in the early 1990’s when a small group began organizing events and celebrations in and around Calgary, for the week leading up to national recognition day. The week in its current form has been happening since 2011.
The theme for 2014 – “Keeping the Circle Strong” – is a reflection of the pride that First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities take in their rich heritages, traditions, and cultures. The theme speaks to resiliency and inspiration from Elders and traditional teachings; in essence, it’s a prompt to continue walking in the footsteps of Aboriginal grandfathers and grandmothers.
Among the week’s highlights are the Opening Ceremonies June 16 including Mayor Nenshi, the festive Gala Event at Stampede Park, as well as the Family Day Pow Wow Festival at Shaw Millennium Park. People of all ages and backgrounds are encouraged to attend events. Enhance your level of awareness and develop your understanding of the community in which you live…and have great fun! Find out about daily events across the city and get more information on the AAWC website.
Earlier this year, Mayor Nenshi attended the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Alberta National Event. In support of that nationwide effort towards healing for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples, the Mayor proclaimed March 27, 2014 to March 27, 2015 as the “Year of Reconciliation.”
“This is the first time since I’ve been Mayor that I have proclaimed a year – but this is important. And I know that all of my colleagues at The City of Calgary, as well as people in the community, will work hard to make this Year of Reconciliation more than just words. We’ll make it a year where we put our hands, our hearts, our minds and our souls to work in a true spirit of reconciliation, to provide opportunity for all.”