Aboriginal cultures are a major part of the rich heritage of Canada. Beginning on the summer solstice, June 21, the First Nations across the country celebrated National Aboriginal Day. In Vancouver, British Columbia, they celebrated their presence, contributions and achievements, through exhibition of their arts and crafts, music, dance, teepee displays and traditional food, in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery and over five days. These celebrations were balanced, on June 29, by a day of national protest by the Natives to draw attention to their urgent issues: disgraceful level of poverty, stalled land claims, high rate of suicide, lack of adequate healthcare, unsuitable housing, unsanitary water, and compensation for the mistreatment of people in residential schools.
These are photos from the third day of First Nations' celebration in Vancouver, featuring various groups performing songs and dances related to healing, prayer, courting, and other aspects of life. The last 7 photos show the guest Aztec dancers from Mexico City. Enjoy!