THUNDER BAY – The Main Square will reverberate with the colourful sights and sounds of the culture of Aboriginal People as Fort William Historical Park celebrates Anishnawbe Keeshigun, Saturday, July 7th and Sunday, July 8th. Traditional singing, drumming, and dancing take centre stage as the Fort pays homage to all First Nation peoples.
Daily weekend highlights include a canoe arrival of the Native hunters at 12:45 p.m. and the ceremonial gift exchange at the Wharf. The Grand Entry and Pow-wow happens in the Main Square at 1 p.m. with host drum, Thunder Spirit, and co-host drum, Dark Cloud Singers.
Visitors will savour samplings of Aboriginal foods including Bakwezhigan (bannock), wild rice, strawberry drink, and smoked fish as well as corn on the cob available at select times while quantities last.
Visitors can roll up their sleeves and get involved in the bannock competition, try their hand at archery, or embark upon a canoe ride. Children can win prizes in various games and contests including baggataway, an accuracy challenge firing a leather ball, and the spear hunting challenge.
Special demonstrations include hide tanning, drum making, woodcarving, moccasin making and beadwork, snowshoe weaving, birch bark basket making, and skinning. Local and regional crafters and artists will also have their works on display.
Central to the theme of the day is how the collective involvement of the Aboriginal Peoples, French Canadian voyageurs and artisans, and Scottish fur traders combined to make the North West Company one of the dominant forces in the North American fur trade.
Admission to Anishnawbe Keeshigun is free. For more information, please call 807-473-2344 or visit the website at www.fwhp.ca. The Fort is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Everyone is invited to enjoy Anishnawbe Keeshigun at Fort William Historical Park, Saturday, July 7th and Sunday, July 8th.