June 21 is the Summer Solstice and also is the New Year for the Rocky Cree and many other First Nation groups. This day is now recognized as the National Aboriginal Day, celebrating First Nations, Metis and Inuit culture and heritage. To mark this event a huge celebration was held at the Forks in downtown Winnipeg and The Manitoba Museum was one of the exhibitors.
I was pleased to participate that day, honouring my heritage and my ancestors by paddling a 15 foot birch bark canoe down the Assiniboine River to the Forks. For thousands of years my ancestors have paddled the lakes and rivers of this beautiful land; being in the canoe connects me to this past.
My wife Myra and I paddled together and we were welcomed at the Forks by many onlookers, our family and daughter Meghan.