VIDEO: A return to an in-person National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration in Aldergrove

Drummers performed at the Lower Fraser Valley Aboriginal Society celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day in Aldergrove’s Philip Jackman Park on Saturday, June 18. It was the first in-person version of the event since 2019. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)Drummers performed at the Lower Fraser Valley Aboriginal Society celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day in Aldergrove’s Philip Jackman Park on Saturday, June 18. It was the first in-person version of the event since 2019. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Caroleen Cusano, 7, from Aldergrove, was playing with bubbles at the Lower Fraser Valley Aboriginal Society celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day in Aldergrove’s Philip Jackman Park on Saturday, June 18. It was the first in-person version of the event since 2019. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)Caroleen Cusano, 7, from Aldergrove, was playing with bubbles at the Lower Fraser Valley Aboriginal Society celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day in Aldergrove’s Philip Jackman Park on Saturday, June 18. It was the first in-person version of the event since 2019. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Lower Fraser Valley Aboriginal Society CEO Katie Pearson was celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day in Aldergrove’s Philip Jackman Park on Saturday, June 18. It was the first in-person version of the event since 2019. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)Lower Fraser Valley Aboriginal Society CEO Katie Pearson was celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day in Aldergrove’s Philip Jackman Park on Saturday, June 18. It was the first in-person version of the event since 2019. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

It was the first in-person celebration in Langley for several years, and Katie Pearson, CEO of Lower Fraser Valley Aboriginal Society was smiling.

“This is a really great way for us to start our summer, celebrate our people, our culture, our artwork and each other,” Pearson told the Langley Advance Times on Saturday, June 18, as the celebration was in progress at Philip Jackman Park in Aldergrove.

“We’re really happy to be back in person,” Pearson commented.

“We have been doing virtual celebrations for the last couple of years due to COVID. We’re really happy to be able to meet in person and bring the community together again.”

Lower Fraser Valley Aboriginal Society has been holding the event in celebration of “Indigenous people, Inuit and Metis people” for 11 years,” Person explained.

It marked the first time the event was held in Aldergrove.

Dominic Matos, 2 and a half, from Aldergrove, was among 400 visitors to the celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day in Aldergrove’s Philip Jackman Park on Saturday, June 18. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Dominic Matos, 2 and a half, from Aldergrove, was among 400 visitors to the celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day in Aldergrove’s Philip Jackman Park on Saturday, June 18. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Marlene Hibbs, a member of the event planning committee, said there were more vendors and performers this year but fewer visitors, “about 400.”

“Everyone had a great time,” Hibbs summarised.

Festivities included artisans, food, entertainment, a kids zone, elders bingo, door prizes, and more.

Lower Fraser Valley Aboriginal Society was established in September of 2000 by Aboriginal support workers in the Langley School District.

Through partners, grants and targeted funds, the volunteer-run organization hosts events and programs, such as youth health programs, and language classes.

READ ALSO: Langley celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day Saturday

National Indigenous Peoples Day, a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples, is held on June 21, which makes June 18 the nearest weekend to hold a public event.

More photos from the day can be viewed online at the Langley Advance Times Facebook page.

READ MORE: Province commits funds to language revitalization


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