SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs and Full Circle First Nations Performance co-presented the Talking Stick Festival, a showcase and celebration of Indigenous art and performance.

National Indigenous Peoples Month

June 19, 2023

For generations, many Indigenous peoples and communities have celebrated their culture and heritage on or near June 21 due to the significance of the summer solstice as the longest day of the year.

The Indigenous community at SFU has also begun to recognize “National Indigenous Peoples Month” rather than “National Indigenous History Month” as typically observed in June, for a more meaningful representation of what is celebrated. “The word ‘history’ can perpetuate the common misconception that Indigenous peoples are only in the past, however, this is not the case as we are still around today,” shares the Indigenous Student Centre. “The use of National Indigenous Peoples Month is intended to better encapsulate not only our history, but present-day culture and knowledges.”

This past June, SFU joined communities across Canada to honour the history, culture, resilience and contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples, and all that they bring to SFU and the world.

The Talking Stick Festival included events such as sacred skin, a tattoo art exhibition, a film screening of Stories that Transform Us, and an Indigenous Music Circle workshop (pictured).
SFU also showcased Indigenous artists through a special series of ArtsLive performances. Pictured here, Wild Moccasin Dancers Shyama-Priya, Cree and David Whitebean, Mohawk.
National Indigenous People’s Day, June 21, in collaboration with host nations Semiahmoo First Nation, Kwantlen First Nation and Katzie First Nation, and the City of Surrey.
To close the month, the Indigenous Student Centre and First Nations, Métis and Inuit Students Association organized SFU’s first Indigenous Market. This popular event brought local Indigenous artists and makers to Burnaby campus to showcase and sell their goods. Pictured here is jewelery maker Jocelyn Kuhn (Opal Soul Designs) and paintings by Courtney Dick.