Submitted by Sandy Graham
The long-awaited live Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival presented by Rio Tinto returns June 21 to 26 at the festival’s new home, Mādahòkì Farm in Ottawa’s west end, with an exhilarating celebration of Canadian Indigenous culture.
Mādahòkì Farm (formerly the Lone Star Ranch) is located on the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Nation at 4420 West Hunt Club Road.
Because of the pandemic, this is the first time since 2019 that the festival, now in its 26th year and welcoming Indigenous and non-Indigenous visitors alike, has had a live component. The festival, produced by Indigenous Experiences on behalf of the National Indigenous Peoples Day (NIPD) Committee representing all of Canada’s National Indigenous organizations, was previously held at Vincent Massey Park, where it grew to 50,000 visitors. For the past two years, the festival has held virtual programming that reached millions across North America.
This year’s festival is a blend of live and virtual programming accessible to all Canadians, throughout June.
Live events at Mādahòkì Farm:
June 21, National Indigenous Peoples Day.
The opening event, which includes Celebration Stage performances by 2021 Summer Solstice Indigenous Music Award winners Joel Wood, Silla and Rise and Sechile Sedare (Leela and Jay Gilday) and others starting at 4 p.m. Guests can also meet the farm’s rare Ojibwe Spirit Horses, take part in interactive Indigenous games and visual arts workshops, shop the marketplace and more. The day wraps up with an open air screening of Run Woman Run, Zoe Hopkins’ immensely engaging comedy-drama about a single mother in Six Nations who receives some help from an unusual source in her efforts to get her life on track.
June 24: Niriqatigiit (Coming Together to Eat)
Long-table dinner celebrating togetherness with Arctic-themed dishes by chefs Trudy Metcalf-Coe and George Laurier with live entertainment by electronica meets throat singing duo Qattuu and Rise and Inuktitut songwriter Aasiva. Following dinner, guests can enjoy a movie under the stars. The Grizzlies directed by Miranda de Pencier and based on a true story, of a group of Inuit students who form a lacrosse team to combat the high suicide rates in their town of Kugluktuk, Nunavut.
June 22-24, Education Days
Already fully booked by eager schools but great photo opportunities as artists and knowledge keepers engage children in Canada’s Indigenous cultures through performances and workshops.
June 24, June 25 & 26 Free Family Fun, Art, Culture and Pow Wow
Entertainment on the Celebration Stage, including 2021 Summer Solstice Indigenous Music Award winners, world champion hoop dancer Dallas Arcand and others; traditional knowledge, including author storytelling and interactive artists stations and workshops; Family Fun Zone; competition pow wow.
More during the festival
Culinary experiences like Bannock pizza and traditional teas, Indigenous marketplace, and more.
June 21, National Indigenous Peoples Day. Live performances on the Celebration Stage; meet the farm’s rare and endangered Ojibway Spirit Horses, including the new baby Cedar.
June 22-24, Education Days. Artists and knowledge keepers engage children in Canada’s Indigenous cultures through performances and workshops; pow wow demonstration.
June 25 & 26, multiple activities. Entertainment on the Celebration Stage, including world champion hoop dancer Dallas Arcand; meet the farm’s rare and endangered Ojibway Spirit Horses, including the new baby Cedar; competition pow wow.
This year’s festival is co-hosted by Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), the organization that represents over 65,000 Inuit across Inuit Nunangat and the rest of Canada. Amidst programming reflecting all of Canada’s Indigenous cultures, the spotlight this year will shine brightly on Inuk artists, musicians and storytellers.
“The Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival is an amazing opportunity to discover and celebrate the rich cultures and traditions of Indigenous communities from coast to coast to coast. As we continue our own journey towards reconciliation, Rio Tinto is very proud to support the National Indigenous Peoples Day Committee in presenting this annual gathering that brings together established and emerging artists, renowned chefs and knowledge keepers representing the diversity of First Nations, Métis and Inuit heritage,” said Claudine Gagnon, General Manager, Communities & Communication, Rio Tinto Aluminium.
Admission to the festival and parking
Free admission but registration for timed entry is required.
Limited onsite parking but shuttle service is available.
Reserved parking spots for accredited media/onsite media meeting place at the Teepee.
About Mādahòkì Farm
Mādahòkì means “to share the land” in the Anishinaabe language and reflects the farm’s agricultural and Indigenous community focus. Now home to a series of Indigenous events celebrating each season, Mādahòkì is a working farm producing traditional agricultural foods and offering social enterprise opportunities as well as being the permanent home of endangered Ojibwe Spirit Horses. The farm is also a venue for group tours and corporate cultural experiences.
Summer Solstice Indigenous Festivals: https://summersolsticefestivals.ca/
Indigenous Experiences/ Madahoki Farm: : https://indigenous-experiences.ca/