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Aboriginal Dayscelebrate Indigenous culture

Dave Baxter, Selkirk Journal

Aboriginal Days is coming to Selkirk for the 12th straight year, and the event is an opportunity for community members of all backgrounds to come together and celebrate Indigenous culture and heritage. 

"We want this to be a celebration of the respect and admiration we have for Indigenous, Métis, First Nations and Inuit people and culture," Manitoba Métis Federation vice-president for the Interlake region Alfred (Buck) Anderson said.

"This is about the past and the present, but most of all it's about the future. We're moving forward and this is just one tool to help us move forward, and to help create awareness."

Aboriginal Days will be celebrated at Selkirk Park on Wednesday, June 21 starting at 9 a.m., and because of sponsorship and community support all food and drinks attractions and entertainment are free for adults and children.

"This is a community-based event, and it works every year because we have the community behind us and supporting us," Anderson said.

"We don't charge for anything, so this way everyone is included."

Aboriginal Days will kick off on June 21 with a pancake breakfast that will run from 9 to 11 a.m.

Opening ceremonies will take place from noon until 1 p.m., and burgers, hot dogs and drinks will be served starting at 1 p.m.

Every year Aboriginal Days in Selkirk features live entertainment, and Anderson said there is a solid line up of performers set to perform this year.

He added they try to offer the stage to young musicians as a way to get them comfortable performing for a crowd.

"We are always trying to promote our youth," Anderson said. "We have some great youth fiddlers that are at different stages of learning their instrument, and we really try to highlight them.

"This is such a confidence boost, and they're often so grateful and they say 'hey now we've done our first gig'"

Aboriginal Days will also feature bouncy castles, a petting zoo, cotton candy, face painting and other attractions for children and youth.

Anderson added more than 100 volunteers will give their time during Aboriginal Days in Selkirk this year.

The event is a celebration of Indigenous culture, but Anderson said it is open to all residents of all cultures and background.

"This is a day for all of us to get together and to celebrate."

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