Fernwood NRG invites you to join us to ­honour National ­Indigenous Peoples Month throughout June and National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21

›› Shonna Bell

Fernwood NRG and the Fernwood ­Community Center are on the traditional territory of the Lekwungen People, known today as the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations. As an organization and a team, we continue to learn what it means to be on stolen lands and to integrate decolonization into our work. We recognize our role in the continuing process of dispossession, ­colonialism, and reconciliation. We ­recognize the need to do better. We humbly welcome all to join in this learning journey.

Fernwood NRG is excited to be one of the many partners supporting the National Indigenous Peoples Day event at Royal Roads University.

We invite everyone to join us at Royal Roads University at Sneq’we e’lun – The Blue Heron House on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 from 10:00am to 3:00pm. There will be lots of fun, including the Canoe Challenge, performances by Indigenous artists and musicians, activities for all ages, guided nature walks, food trucks, and Indigenous vendors. More information is available at royalroads.ca/nipd.

Each time I get the opportunity to learn from and with Indigenous traditions, I feel honoured to be present. In my experience as a white settler and in my particular family, there wasn’t the tradition of my grandparents or parents sharing or passing down traditions to live by. I see this practice at the roots of this National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration and I see it in the relationship-based way the event is being organized. The event will begin with a Canoe Landing Protocol Practice and Swutth’tus (Max Henry Sr.) Canoe Challenge. Each year, Max Henry Jr., along with his brothers, Roger and Leonard, from Pauquachin First Nation support the event on the water. Participating organizations and families are invited to go out in a canoe and row back in to ask permission to come ashore. Throughout colonization, the canoe protocol, an essential piece to building relations with Indigenous people, was missing and to participate in it being upheld is a privilege.

Along with the event at Royal Roads ­University at Sneq’we e’lun – The Blue Heron House, our friends at the Quadra Village Community Centre (QVCC) are hosting a Indigenous People’s day celebration at 901 King Road in the late afternoon to evening. Please check qvcc.ca/indigenouspeoplesday to find out about the fun and festivities for Indigenous People’s Day at QVCC.