Across Canada, Indigenous Peoples have a culturally rich, diverse and immersive history of traditional and contemporary music that inspires memorialization and champions community.
Through the power of music, First Nations, Métis and Inuit people are able to share a piece of their identity with vast audiences worldwide despite geographic, cultural and linguistic barriers.
In honour of National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21, the University of Calgary hosts Campfire Chats to honour and celebrate Indigenous culture. This year, the eighth annual Campfire Chats focuses on A Celebration of Indigenous Music, a special showcase at Heritage Park.
Gerald Ratt, specialist, Indigenous initiatives with the Office of Indigenous Engagement, and one of the hosts of Campfire Chats 2023, says, “National Indigenous Peoples Day, which takes place on the summer solstice, is an opportunity to come together to celebrate and recognize the rich, vibrant, diverse identities and cultures of Indigenous Peoples of this area.”
The summer solstice is the longest day of the year and is often an important date in Indigenous cultures. “The summer solstice has significant spiritual meaning for many Indigenous Peoples,” says Ratt. “It symbolizes new beginnings and new life.”
UCalgary and Heritage Park have partnered to spotlight Indigenous art and culture through song, story, and drumming performed by Indigenous artists. Performers include Dr. Craig Ginn, PhD, an associate professor in the Faculty of Arts and a Métis recording artist; Olivia Tail Feathers, a traditional singer/songwriter from Kainai Nation; Sandra Sutter, a Cree Métis recording artist; and Elder and Traditional Knowledge Keeper Rod Hunter, alongside his drum group, Eya-Hey Nakoda, from Stoney Nakoda Nation.
Campfire Chats: A Celebration of Indigenous Music
Date: June 21, 2023
Time: 4 - 6 p.m.
Location: Heritage Park Plaza (free to attend)
Learn more and register
Campfire Chats is held thanks to the joint efforts of the Office of Indigenous Engagement and the Office of Advancement.