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What’s happening in the NWT for National Indigenous Peoples Day?

A drum dance hosted by the Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ First Nation from above
A drum dance hosted by the Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ First Nation from above. Jonathan Antoine/Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ First Nation

Wednesday is National Indigenous Peoples Day, a day to celebrate and honour the history and resilience of Indigenous people around the territory.

Several events will be happening across the territory throughout the day including fish fries, community feasts and traditional games and ceremonies.

Below, find a guide to events happening in the NWT.

Are we missing an event or is there an amendment we should make? Tell us by email, or add an event to our events calendar.


From 11:30am till 5:00pm, the North Slave Métis Alliance is hosting their annual Fish Fry at Somba K’e park.



Starting at 3pm, the Yellowknives Dene First Nation is hosting a Wıìlıìdeh Cultural Gathering at the Wıìlıìdeh site. Starting with a Feeding the Fire ceremony at 3pm, the event will see a fish fry at 4pm, followed by activities such as canoe rides, a hand games demo, and a duck plucking contest for those aged 18 and older.

The Tree of Peace is hosting a special National Indigenous Peoples Day beading circle at Makerspace from 6-8pm as part of their Youth and Elder Eagle Program.


The Tłı̨chǫ Government is hosting a day of events starting with a pancake breakfast from 9am-12pm at the Sportsplex Canteen. A community BBQ will be held at 1pm at the baseball field, as well as activities such as a horseshoe tournament behind the Sportsplex and Dene games near the baseball field.


The Tłı̨chǫ Government will be hosting youth and adult events as well as a mini carnival from 1pm-6pm at the Cultural Centre. Activities will include tea boiling, dryfish making, egg toss, a bouncy castle and a community BBQ.



Fort Smith

Canadian musicians Charlie Major, Ernest Monias and George Canyon will be playing in a three day music event starting on Wednesday. Hosted by Salt River First Nation, Major will be playing on Wednesday with Monias to follow on Thursday, and Canyon to wrap up the festival on Friday. All concerts will take place at the Fort Smith Arena grounds.

Wednesday’s celebrations will also see activities such as traditional games for all ages, a drum dance and a community feast.

Hay River

The Northwest Territory Métis Nation Healing and Wellness Program is hosting a Sunrise Ceremony at Pumphouse Beach at 7am. Attendees are asked to bring good intentions, a water bottle, a wrap or skirt, and a rattle or drum.

The ceremony will be followed by a Summer Solstice Shootout at the Hay River Golf Club starting at 10am. Registration opens at 9am.

A fish fry will take place from 11am-2pm with games, a cultural fashion show and door prizes at the Aurora Ford Ice Surface, sponsored by the Soaring Eagle Friendship Centre, Hay River Métis Council, West Point First Nation and the Town of Hay River. A horseshoe tournament and BBQ will be held at 2pm at the Legion Branch #250 to finish off the day of activities.

Fort Simpson

Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ First Nation will be hosting a day full of events at the Ehdaa Historical Site starting with an opening prayer at 9am. From there, attendees can expect canoe races, a BBQ, an open mic and other family friendly activities. The day will conclude with a drum dance at 8pm.


The Gwich’in Tribal Council, Nihtat Gwich’in Council, Inuvik Native Band, Inuvik Community Corporation and the Town of Inuvik are hosting a BBQ and fish fry starting at 12pm at Chief Jim Koe Park. The afternoon will also see an open mic, an Arctic sports demonstration and an arctic market. Organizers ask that attendees bring their own plates and cutlery.


A community cookout is being held outside the youth centre starting at 1pm, followed by games. Traditional dress is encouraged.