Plans changing this year for June 21 National Indigenous People’s Day

The celebrations aren’t going to take place in the usual way in the Battlefords for National Indigenous People’s Day on June 21.

Normally, North Battleford sees Indigenous celebrations downtown on that date, including live entertainment and the annual pancake breakfast put on by Battle River Treaty 6 Health Centre.

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But COVID-19 and the ongoing gathering restrictions have thrown a wrench into those plans for 2020. The hope from civic leaders is to still recognize that day, but as of this week it is still unclear what might be done to commemorate the occasion.

At a meeting of council members Monday, Councillor Kent Lindgren posed a question on what the city’s plans were for June 21.

Mayor Ryan Bater responded that they had been discussing the issue within the Battlefords Regional Community Coalition, and had been scheduled to deal with the issue at a meeting this Thursday. The coalition includes several First Nations Chiefs.

But that meeting has now been pushed back to June 25, so now Bater hopes to raise the issue about what they might be able to do on their weekly phone call.

“I think it’s important to commemorate it with something,” said Bater. “We can’t have a public gathering like usual, but something to commemorate that day – it’s always been an important occasion in the city.”

Bater said he hopes to have an answer that he could share with the Planning Committee meeting next Monday.

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