Indigenous Peoples Day across the N.W.T.

CKLB Facebook LIve, DEne hand games, 2023

From far and wide, Canadians everywhere will be celebrating Indigenous People Day in honour of the traditions and knowledge of First Nations people.

Below is a compilation of festivities happening in the N.W.T. in honour of Indigenous Peoples Day:

Dehcho region

Liidlii Kue First Nation, Fort Simpson

At the Ehdaa Historical Site (Arbor), the opening prayer will be held at 10 a.m.

Canoe races will take place at 11 p.m. from the Ferry Landing to the beach, with 1st prices up to $500.

Traditional games, BBQ and moose draw will also be part of the event, just to name a few of the festivities.

For more information call (867)695-3131.

The village of Fort Simpson, starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Arbour will host a best traditional dressed contest to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day.

Pehdzeh Ki First Nation, Wigley

The festivities will begin at 12:00 p.m. with an opening prayer at the main complex, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. by traditional outdoor games, followed by a community BBQ from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., and a bingo from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. to end the celebration.


Beaufort Delta


The Arctic Market of Inuvik will offer its special edition on Indigenous Peoples Day, showcasing Indigenous artists such as Alice Kimiksana, Cathy Cockney, Mary-Anne Francey, Wilma Dosedel and Mavis Jacobson.

The boardwalk of the Arctic Market will take place in Chief Jim Koe Park from noon to 4 p.m.

For more information, contact the town of Inuvik Economic Development & Tourism at (867)777-8618.


The Hamlet of Aklavik will be hosting a community cookout at the Sittichinli complex starting at 2 p.m.

Residents can expect fish, BBQ and bannock while enjoying a jam session during the cookout.

For more information, contact Dean or Mary at (867)978-2351.


At the youth centre, a community cookout will be held at 1:00 p.m., followed by community games. Participants are encouraged to dress traditionally.


North Slave


Again, this year, the City will not host any celebration for the National Indigenous Peoples Day, instead residents can expect food for the ears.

Indigenous artist Miranda Currie will perform for kids and parents at the Somba K’e Amphitheater on Monday, June 19 and Tuesday, June 20, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

The Yellowknife Public Library is welcoming families with children ages 3 to 8.

Children are invited to read five books by Indigenous authors and write the five titles on a card to have a chance to win a prize.

For more information, visit the library’s website or call (867)920-5642.

In Somba K’e Civic Plaza, the North Slave Metis Alliance is offering fry fish and stage show. The Ceremony will kick off at noon with an opening prayer by Lawrence Mercredi, followed by the Canadian national Anthem and a few speeches.

Lyle Donald will lead the Metis cultural dance accompanied by James Ross’ fiddle, followed by the Dene Drummers, Edmonton traditional Pow wow dancers, hoop dancer, David Gon and the Boys, Metis cultural dancers, Ashton and Tina Hawker.

For more information go to the North Slave Metis Alliance website or call (867)873-6762.


Yellowknives Dene First Nation (YKDFN)

The Yellowknife Dene First Nation celebrations for Indigenous Peoples Days will be held at the Wiiliideh site starting at 3 p.m.

There will be a bouncy castle in the kid’s corner, traditional hand games demonstration for all ages, fish to cook will be provided.

Some band members will be selling meat and fish, or bring your own to cook on site.

The festivities will end at 9 p.m. with a traditional drum dance.



At the Sportsplex Canteen a pancake breakfast will be served from 9:00 a.m. to noon, followed by a kid’s carnival starting at 1:00 p.m.

Adult and youth events will begin at 12:00 p.m. at the baseball field. Participants can expect log sawing, canoe race. Platform water wrestling and many more. A community BBQ will be served at 1:00 p.m. at the baseball field. For more information visit the Facebook page.


Tlicho Community Government of Wekweeti

Residents of Wekweeti can expect canoe race, log sawing and hand games to name a few festivities for adults.

Archery, egg race, tug o war, egg toss and races will be organized for children.



The Cultural Centre will be the venue for a range of activities organized by the Tłı̨chǫ Government, catering to both youth and adults. These events, along with a mini carnival, are scheduled to take place from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The agenda includes engaging activities like tea boiling, dryfish making, an egg toss game, a bouncy castle, and a community BBQ.


South Slave

Katl’odeeche First Nation, Hay River

The early birds can start the celebration at 7 a.m. at the Pumphouse Beach for a sharing circle, teachings about the Summer Solstice, and snacks. No registration is required, the event is proposed by the Metis Nation. For more information contact Betti Delorey at

National Indigenous Peoples Day will begin at 11:00 a.m. and end at 2:00 p.m., and will be held at the Soaring Eagle Friendship Centre. Residents can expect a cultural fashion show, accompanied by fry fish, games, door prizes, and much more. For inquiries email at or call the Soaring Eagle Friendship Centre at (867)874-6581 or visit the Facebook page.


Salt River First Nation, Fort Smith

This year, Salt River First Nation, Smith’s Landing First Nation, Fort Smith Metis Council and the Town of Fort Smith pulled together to give residents a musical Indigenous Peoples Day at the Fort Smith Arena. The day will showcase a wide range of activities for individuals and musical events, along with traditional games, a community feast and fry fish, and a drum dance.

The Metis Council will organize a bike raffle for kids 12 years and under, starting 1:00 p.m., with a free draw for 20 bicycles.


Deninu Kue First Nation, and Fort Resolution Metis Council, Fort Resolution

Starting at 1:00 p.m. at the arbour, residents are welcome to join in outdoor events with many money prizes to win.

Children under 6 can partake in running races, balloon pop, leap frog and many more fun events.

Children from 7 to 11 will be able to enjoy stick pull games, leg wrestling, egg tossing among other fun activities.

Youth from 12 to 17 will be proposed to split wood, nail pounding, stick pull and leg wrestling.

Adult from 18 and older will be able to challenge themselves in men and women categories with activities such as bannock making, wood split, stick pull and many more.

The traditional challenge will take place at 5:00 p.m. by teams of 6, 2 runners, 2 bikers and 2 canoers.

A feast will be shared amongst residents at 6:30 p.m.

A drum dance will close the event at 8:00 p.m.

About the Author

Eden Maury
Eden Maury is a multimedia story teller, born in France but her family lives in Dettah and N’dilo. She graduated from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Audiovisuel, department of cinematography, with a Hons. Master of Arts and Languages. She spent more than a decade working on film sets in Paris and she travelled the world working as a videographer for many news networks in France. Next time you tune in 101.9, look out for the Native with a French accent. Please, feel free to reach out anytime at Masi cho!