Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ples cel­e­brated at Port au Choix his­toric site

The Western Star - - Regional/provincial -

PORT AU CHOIX Parks Canada marked Na­tional Abo­rig­i­nal Day at Port au Choix Na­tional His­toric Site this week.

The site rep­re­sents more than 5,500 years of hu­man habi­ta­tion and cel­e­brates the ves­tiges of four an­cient Abo­rig­i­nal cul­tures. It also pays tribute to mod­ern Abo­rig­i­nal cul­tures and present-day res­i­dents.

June 21 was set aside as a day to cel­e­brate the unique her­itage, di­verse cul­tures and out­stand­ing achieve­ments of our nation’s Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ples. The Gov­er­nor Gen­eral first pro­claimed Na­tional Abo­rig­i­nal Day in 1996 to pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity to ac­knowl­edge the First Na­tions, Métis and Inuit for their unique achieve­ments in a num­ber of di­verse fields and for their sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions to­wards Canada’s de­vel­op­ment and progress.

It of­fi­cially opened the new visi­tor ex­pe­ri­ence land­scape fea­tures at the site, con­sist­ing of a Gather­ing Cir­cle at the Mar­itime Ar­chaic Burial Ground, a Dorset Door­way at Point Riche and a pro­gram shel­ter at Phillip’s Gar­den. In ad­di­tion, it un­veiled a new paint­ing called “Cul­tural Lay­ers of Port au Choix” by Mi’kmaq artist Jerry Evans, and sculp­tures by Inuit artist Michael Massie and New­found­land artist Jim Maun­der were also un­veiled. All of these fea­tures will help peo­ple to con­nect with the story of Port au Choix’s her­itage in a new and en­hanced way.

In cel­e­bra­tion of Parks Canada’s 100th an­niver­sary this year, 100 stu­dents were also in­vited to take part in a walk to Phillip’s Gar­den where they par­tic­i­pated in spe­cial ac­tiv­i­ties in­clud­ing Abo­rig­i­nal games. Per­for­mances by Abo­rig­i­nal artists through­out the day’s events in­cluded Win­ston White, Inuit throat singer and drum­mer Lena Onalik, the Se'ta'newey Per­for­mance Choir and Drum­mers of Conne River, and the Bay of Is­lands Drum­mers.

A sun­set ec­u­meni­cal ser­vice was also held on the eve of Na­tional Abo­rig­i­nal Day. On June 20, Abo­rig­i­nal lead­ers, lo­cal clergy and lo­cal res­i­dents paid tribute to the an­ces­tors of the var­i­ous an­cient Abo­rig­i­nal cul­tures that have used the Port au Choix area as well as to the an­ces­tors of mod­ern Abo­rig­i­nal cul­tures and lo­cal res­i­dent.

news­room@thewest­ern­star.com

— Sub­mit­ted photo

Stu­dents per­form a friend­ship dance with mem­bers of the Se’ta’ne­way Per­for­mance Choir and Drum­mers from Conne River dur­ing Abo­rig­i­nal Day cel­e­bra­tions at Port au Choix his­toric site.

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