Saskatoon celebrates National Aboriginal Day

Watch above: The University of Saskatchewan came alive Sunday with a celebration of culture, history and pride. Hundreds of people gathered to honour national aboriginal day and all that First Nations and Métis communities contribute to the province. Amber Rockliffe reports.

SASKATOON – For artist Joseph Naytowhow, National Aboriginal Day is a celebration of strength, resilience and community pride.

“I’m glad I’m here, because this is our town, this is our city,” he explained.

On Sunday, Naytowhow joined dozens of First Nations and Métis performers of all ages in a celebration of language, culture and diversity at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) in Saskatoon.

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Whitecap Dakota First Nation Chief Darcy Bear said the event is a chance to highlight all that First Nations have accomplished over the years.

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“When we’re successful, the region is successful,” said Bear.

“You look at Whitecap for example – 680 employees, 500 of them commute from Saskatoon daily – and that’s what it’s all about, all of our communities working together so all of them can enjoy success.”

Bear said the event is also about celebrating the invaluable ties forged between First Nations.

“Before we started down this path, we visited many successful First Nations communities – not just here in Canada, but down in the United States – and looked at their best practices, because I’m a believer that you don’t have to re-invent the wheel,” Bear explained.

Lieutenant governor of Saskatchewan Vaughn Solomon Schofield, Mayor Don Atchison, and U of S interim president Gordon Barnhart also attended the event.