Jubilee Park came alive with the sounds of drumming and singing, and children playing and learning. Students from all of Weyburn’s elementary schools descended on the park this morning to take part in a number of activities that tie into National Indigenous Peoples Day. The event was brought together through planning by educators in both Holy Family Roman Catholic Separate School Division and South East Cornerstone Public School Division, as well as the City of Weyburn, the Saskatchewan Health Authority, Southeast Reginal Library, The Family Place, Rotary Weyburn, Weyburn Ministerial Association, and many others.  

“It was cross-culture planning,” said Regan Lanning with the City of Weyburn. “It was all sorts of Weyburn groups coming together to make this event go, and it is just so gratifying to see so many kids out here enjoying themselves, and learning important things about Indigenous cultures.” 

Raquel Bellefleur is an instructional coach with South East Cornerstone Public School Division and chaired the planning committee for the events held today. Growing up in Weyburn, she said there really weren’t any activities like this that were held, and always wanted to have something like this put together.  

She took inspiration from the Treaty 4 Gathering, held every year in September to commemorate the anniversary of the signing of the treaty.  

“I’ve been a part of that committee for a while, and saw how they do the student activities there along with the pow-wow demonstration and thought maybe we could do a smaller version of Treaty 4 Gathering here in Weyburn and Jubilee Park,” Bellefleur said of the planning.  

While the event is being held today, technically National Indigenous Peoples Day is officially on June 21st. Lanning said ensuring the inclusion of Indigenous partners, such as those from Ocean Man First Nation and Pheasant Rump First Nation was important.  

“(National) Indigenous Peoples Day is kind of like a holiday for Indigenous people,” Lanning explained.  
“It would kind of be selfish of us to expect them to give up their day to host an event aimed at educating settlers and settler descendants, so by holding it today, it enables everyone to take part and to celebrate.” 

The activities for the day varied greatly, ranging from drumming and singing demonstrations to a tipi raising, and activities such as lacrosse and other Indigenous sports. Other activities included traditional games, Indigenous STEM activities and math games, a story walk called Honouring the Buffalo, button making, Indigenous yoga, and The Moccasin Game. A pow-wow demonstration was also planned for the afternoon.