National Indigenous People's Day

June 21, 2023
Moody Park
9:30 am - 2:00 pm

Come to the 2023 National Indigenous Peoples Day celebration, located at Moody Park in New Westminster. This event is hosted in collaboration with the Spirit of the Children Society, Qayqayt First Nation and the City of New Westminster. There will be cultural entertainment, physical activities, arts and crafts, Indigenous vendors and storytelling. 

This is a free all-ages event, so invite all your family, friends, neighbours, and people of every kind! No ticket purchases necessary, just show up at Moody Park anytime between 9:30 am to 2:00 pm.

Stage Performances

9:30 am - 10:00 am

10:00 am - 10:30 am
Wild Moccasin Dancers (Pow Wow, Audience Participation)

The Wild Moccasin Dancers are a intertribal dance collective that live work and play on the Unceeded Coast Salish Territories. The artists involved have been sharing their gifts for most of their lives, and express these gifts through songs, dances, and storytelling. We believe that by sharing what has been gifted to each of us, we strengthen the gifts within all of us. The Wild Moccasin Dancers engage the audience and encourage participation by creating a safe space of inclusion. Our mission is to bring all peoples together by utilizing medicine wheel teachings through intertribal dance steps and styles. Regardless of race, gender, religion, age or ability, there is enough space for all of us.  


10:30 am - 11:00 am
Jane Wiley (Raven) Hoop Dancer

I’m a 19 year old Haida and Scottish young lady. About 10 years ago I saw a hoop dancer. She gave me my first three hoops. This started my love for hoop dancing so I started teaching myself. I’m also a jingle dancer which I’ve also taught myself. I’ve been dancing at National Indigenous Peoples Days in Maple Ridge in Langley for several years. I also performed at SD 42 Aboriginal awards and throughout the Lower Mainland. All my regalia is made by my dad and I.


11:00 am - 11:30 am
Star Child Dancers (Pow Wow)

We Are the Star Child Drum group.  Ian Ewenin Bee is the lead singer and drum carrier alongside of my wife Candace Parnell who holds the name for the group. We both started this drum group 12 years ago alongside of her dad and uncle that help us out with the first drum.  So we can honour our Residential School survivors for those who can’t sing or dance anymore. We also sing for kids who live in foster care as well as kids with special needs.

Our drum group singers come from many different nations across Turtle Island.  We sing in many different languages.  We come from:

Haida/six nations
Cree Dakota
Lil, wat

My wife Candace came up with the name Star Child is because her House is the star house in Haida Gwaii.  She was given permission to use the name. We are very excited to have been asked to be host drum for this awesome powwow and sing in the territories of the Halkomelem-speaking people. We hope you all enjoy our songs and medicine.

11:30 - 12:00
Stars of the North Drum Group

Hello, we are Stars Of The North Drum Group, representing our North West Coast people of the Tlowitsis Mumtigala Nation of Alert Bay, and of the Kwakiutl people of Fort Rupert on Vancouver Island, and we represent the Stolo people of Seabird Island Chilliwack BC. Stars of the North Drum Group was born in August of 2009 with the guidance of our elders sharing their wisdom, and their knowledge, and passing down to us their stories that our mother LaDonna Wiks Joseph Hindmarch puts into her own written songs in English implementing our Native Kwakwala Language.

We are children of parents who attended and survived residential school. We are children who were not raised on reserve, with our native people, nor were we raised with our native language, and with our native culture. So we started our own learning journey of our native culture, history, and of our language through song with the guidance of our Grandmother Christine Joseph Twance Of Fort Rupert, and of many elders whom we keep them all very close to our hearts, and we continue to raise our hands honoring and remembering them for with out their guidance, love and support Stars of the North Drum group would not be.

The button blankets we wear are all hand stitched every bead, button, sequence, and every stitch by our mother LaDonna Wiks Joseph Hindmarch, with the guidance of our Auntie Elizabeth Dawson, and they represent who we are, and where we from as Big House People. We raise our hands at this time to give thanks to our Community Event Facilitators, for inviting our Stars of the North Drum Group to share our Aboriginal Cultural Journey. We would also like to acknowledge, and raise our hands to give thanks to the First Nations People of this Territory we are standing on for allowing us to share our Cultural Journey in our own written contemporary songs.

12:00 - 12:30 pm
Tawahum (Hip Hop)

Tawahum Bige is a Łutselkʼe Dene, Plains Cree spoken word poet and hip-hop artist from unceded Musqueam, Squamish & Tsleil-Waututh Territory (CKA Vancouver). A Two Spirit, Nonbinary Scorpio-moon’s angst guides them to tell their most soul-rending truth to you, to self and to power with an abundant love and reciprocity with the land.

Their single, Connect2Spirit, charted #1 on Indigenous Music Countdown in June 2022. Having opened for Kimmortal and Vivek Shraya, Tawahum’s also performed for Talking Stick Festival for several years. They have a book of poems called Cut to Fortress! Find them online @Tawahum on streaming platforms, Instagram, Twitter and more. His debut hip-hop album, Bottled Lightning, emerges May 5th, so keep those ears keen!

12:30 - 1:00 pm
Tsatsu Staqayu
(Coastal Wolf Pack)

Tsatsu Staqayu is a Young group of Coast Salish people coming from across the Coast and throughout the Fraser Valley, they have members in there group from Musqueam, Nanaimo, Kuper Island, Cowichan, Tsartlip, just to name a few. They all come from different homes, but they all come from 1 creator, who is the creator of all good things. Which brings them all together to sing and dance as one. The only goal in this group is to reunite their people and show the world who they are and where they come from. Performing for the people brings happiness and joy to their hearts as they sing dance and pray for each and every one of us that are here today.

1:00 - 1:30 pm
Waceya Metis Society, Jigging and Fiddling (Children)

The Waceya Metis Dance Troupe from Waceya Metis Society (serving Langley and White Rock Métis citizens) have been together since September 2022 performing in numerous venues including the Cloverdale Rodeo, Langley Rodeo, numerous fairs and parades, as well as numerous schools with an interactive program teaching Metis dance,culture, language, and values. The troupe is looking forward to competing at the Back to Batoche festival in Saskatchewan in July this year.

1:30 - 2:00 pm
Metis Jigging (Charlene Hamilton and Justine Loyie)


Educational Display and Activities

10:30 am - 2:30 pm

Red Fox Health Living Society Active Play

Red Fox’s flagship Active Play program gives children the chance to be healthy, have fun, and get inspired by positive youth role models from their own communities. Red Fox Youth Leaders guide children through energetic group games, circus arts and other physical activities that cultivate self-confidence, social connections, and new skills.

Red Fox created the first Active Play programs in east Vancouver in 2007 to serve the needs of Indigenous and inner-city children who were disengaged with traditional after-school programs. The programs’ successes have resulted in Red Fox growing rapidly. Red Fox Active Play now reaches hundreds of children across Metro Vancouver every week.

Water Eater

Water Eater is Spirit of the Children Society’s Canoe.  It was painted by Tlingit artist Ken Anderson. His design concept was based on the name “Water-eater” which is understand to have been a common name for a canoe in the past. The design concept was that the main figure in the front was a female figure that “ate the water” and carried and protected the passengers. The male figures in the back represent the men working while following the lead of the women (also in the boat); a symbolic representation of how the Tlingit clan system follows the mother’s side.

The boat was blessed and a prayer said for it as it had an inaugural journey in Teslin in 2000 or 2001. It was used for a variety of events in the Yukon such as the grand opening of the Teslin Cultural Centre a number of Moosehide gatherings and it completed the Yukon River Quest 4 times to raise funds for diabetes.

Science Al!ve

Science Al!ve  c/o Simon Fraser University's Faculty of Applied Sciences Outreach team is dedicated to inspiring youth through hands-on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art Design and Mathematics) activities. Our Indigenous Youth in STEM (InSTEM) programs are designed to break down barriers to Inuit, Métis and First Nations youth by creating culturally relevant STEM experiences that build skills and confidence, while recognizing and celebrating their existing cultural knowledge as Indigenous Peoples. 

Our InSTEM team will teach computer science through interactive and age appropriate activities. The first activity will be learning about binary code through beading. Our second activity will explore encryption and decryption where participants will learn how to make strong passwords for digital safety. Lastly, we will have a computer science demonstration that the participants will get to engage with!



William Nahanee

William Nahanee was born November 15, 1941 in Vancouver, and grew up on Mission Reserve No. 1. For ten years, he was sent with his siblings, to St. Paul’s Indian Residential School in North Vancouver. During this challenging period, he became an active and accomplished boxer with St. Paul’s Athletic Club, later renamed Totem Athletic Club. This sport became a passion that followed him into adulthood. He is a member of the Squamish Nation and a long-time aboriginal cultural educator. His ancestral name is Kwel-a-nexw.

Deni Paquette

Deni Paquette is Métis and holds a BA in International Indigenous Studies, her focus is to support and promote the Métis and all Indigenous people through education. She has experience in community boards and development projects. Currently she is the President of the North Fraser Métis. Deni also works as a classroom Métis Cultural Presenter for the Langley School District and as a facilitator promoting Métis identity through community presentations. She uses oral traditions and values learned from Elders to build community.


Les George

Les George is a member of the səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nation, where he lives on the north shore of Burrard Inlet. He is the grandson of the late səlilwətaɬ Chief Dan George and is connected through family to the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) nations. Les attended the Native Education College in Vancouver. In 2017 he was invited to return, giving a performance and prayer at the opening of their cultural gathering space.

“Sharing Indigenous stories and culture has always been part of my family’s long history. I’m honoured to be continuing this legacy in my new role at the library. This is an opportunity to share traditional songs, legends and history with those in Vancouver who may not otherwise have the opportunity. I look forward to creating these special moments that bring together people of all ages, cultures and backgrounds.”

For 23 years, Les George was a First Nations Support Worker with the North Vancouver School District, working closely with at-risk youth and those with special needs. He shared stories, drumming, songs, and held restorative justice circles with students. Les also works for Takaya Tours, the premier First Nation owned eco-tourism venture in the Lower Mainland. As a guide, he keeps groups safe as they paddle Burrard Inlet and Indian Arm in replica ocean-going canoes or sea kayaks, all while sharing səlilwətaɬ songs, legends, and information about village sites.