National Indigenous People’s Day is Friday, June 21, and Humboldt will be celebrating along with First Nations and Métis people at a noon event in Civic Park. The day is presented by Métis Nation – Saskatchewan (MN-S) in cooperation with the City of Humboldt.  

Opening ceremonies and speeches will be held at noon at Humboldt’s Civic Park, followed by an afternoon of free swimming and water fun for the kids at the Humboldt Aquatic Centre. A burger lunch is hosted by MS-N sponsored by the Humboldt Coop. 

“As we are aware, the day is about highlighting our Indigenous People, as well as the Métis,” says Brent Digness, Minister of Economic Development and Tourism for Métis Nation-Saskatchewan. “We’ve seen it as a wonderful opportunity to bring the Métis community in Humboldt and get them involved with the region. I sign my letters with the slogan ‘building the region one local at a time,’ and I’m looking forward to the work in Humboldt.  

As Minister and Director for Eastern Region 2 MS-N, which extends to from the Manitoba Border to Humboldt, Digness has hosted similar events in other communities, including his hometown of Porcupine Plain, along with Carrot River, Hudson Bay and Melfort.  

“Where the vision came from is Truth and Reconciliation, and how do we bring Truth and Reconciliation to communities? It’s about awareness of all cultures within the community. For example, in Porcupine Plain, we had the Métis hosting, and we had the Ukrainian culture, the Filipino culture, and First Nations with their drummers. It was just a beautiful event.” 

Digness reflects on the similarities in the features of cultures, both Indigenous and European. Ukrainian dance in its fast step bears a striking resemblance to elements of the Métis Red River jig, muses Digness. That’s what the unity events are about – bringing people together to build bridges and understanding.  

“Witnessing the community coming out to support the events created a sense of awareness for myself and the community.” 

Digness is proud that the Métis people have historically been at the forefront of bringing people together from the days of trade with settlers, the voyagers, the establishment of the west and its network of Red River cart trails. Those connections have been reinforced in the area with the recent findings of an archeological dig at the Original Humboldt site.  

On hand at the event will be Ministers and dignitaries from the Métis Nation along with representatives from the City of Humboldt.  

Come out on June 21, National Indigenous Peoples Day, and share in the celebration with friends and neighbours and the Métis and First Nations communities.