Honouring National Indigenous History Month

NIHM blog post header

In the spirit of reconciliation, YMCA Calgary acknowledges that it is situated on the traditional lands of the Treaty 7 First Nations of the Siksika, Piikani, Kainai, Tsuut’ina, and the three Stoney Nations, that comprise of the Chiniki, Goodstoney, and Bears Paw. Calgary is also home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, and all those who call this beautiful area home. We honour and respect the inherent cultural respect and relationship that all nations have with Mother Earth.

As we recognize the start National Indigenous History month, we want to take some time to share events happening at YMCA Calgary locations as well as around Calgary throughout June. This season will continue to bring many insightful opportunities to learn about Indigenous culture, traditions and teachings, and we hope you can join us this month!

YMCA Calgary Events

17th Annual Indigenous Youth Hoops Tournament

June 8, 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM at Shane Homes YMCA at Rocky Ridge

The co-ed Youth Hoops tournament is a fan favourite for the YMCA community. Teams of 5 prepare to match off 3 on 3, with games taking place all day and people joining in to cheer the teams on and enjoy the live entertainment.

This year, the tournament features special guests for a halftime performance, as well as traditional dancers, a live DJ, a land acknowledgement by the Calgary Police Service, and a blessing by an Elder of our community.

Learn more about the Youth Hoops Tournament.

Indigenous Active Life Drop-In Program

Thursdays, 5:00 – 8:00 PM at Saddletowne YMCA

Drop in for an active night at the YMCA - for FREE!  Join other youth and young adults (ages 12-30) for basketball, swimming, cardio, and more!  This program is free with full facility access during designated times. Grab a friend for some active, social fun.  

Learn more about the Indigenous Active Life Drop-In Program.

Indigenous Drum & Dance Program

Mondays, 5:00 - 7:00 PM at Saddletowne YMCA

Bring your family for a weekly Drum and Dance drop-in night.   Learn or brush-up your skills in Pow Wow dance styles, drumming and Indigenous culture.  Our program Elder and male and female dance instructors will keep the sessions engaging and fun for participants of all ages and levels. Drum and Dance is an excellent way to keep active, build community and stay connected with Indigenous culture.

Learn more about the Indigenous Drum & Dance Program.


City-Wide Events

Calgary Public Library: National Indigenous History Month Kick Off

June 1, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM at The Confluence

Join us at The Confluence (formerly Ft Calgary) to kick off National Indigenous History Month with a round dance, tipi raising and teachings, traditional Dene and Inuit games, art. Following these drop in activities there will be a screening of Jordan River Anderson’s “The Messenger.”

Learn more.

Calgary Public Library: Celebrating Indigenous Sport Heroes with Cindy Martin

June 7, 10:00 – 11:00 AM Online

Join Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame to learn about Tom Longboat's remarkable story from his great-great-great-niece, Cindy Martin. Explore the story of an inspiring role model, delving into his legacy and impact on Canada’s sporting heritage.

Learn more. 

Calgary Public Library: Drum Circle with Miskanawah

June 7, 1:00 – 3:00 PM at Calgary Central Library

June 21, 1:00 – 3:00 PM at Calgary Central Library

Learn more about the importance of the drum and the sharing of traditional stories through song with Skip Wolfleg.

Learn more. 

Calgary Public Library: Cindy Martin Reading and Craft

June 8, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM at Calgary Central Library

Listen to Cindy Martin's captivating reading of "The Protector of Peace: A Haudenosaunee Story." Then, ignite your creativity in a craft session creating your own Olympic torch. Don't miss this unique fusion of storytelling and hands-on fun.

Learn more. 

Calgary Public Library: Métis History and Jigging Lesson

June 10, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM at Calgary Central Library

Come out to learn some Métis history and the art of the Métis’ jig from Elder Doreen Bergum. See and learn different styles of jigging.

Learn more. 

City of Calgary: Otipemisiwak Metis Event

June 14-16, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM at South Glenmore Park, Weasel Head Flats

Mamawii Kishkayta - Gather and Learn with the Métis. Join us for an enriching three-day event and come together to celebrate Métis culture and traditions.  

South Glenmore Park will transform into a hub of learning and exploration. This event will feature Métis trapper tent and immersive experiences. Learn more about the Métis language, cultural practices, and history at the beautiful Weasel Head Flats. This is a unique opportunity to connect with Métis heritage and deepen our understanding of this vibrant community.  

Learn more. 

Calgary Public Library: The Secret Path with Mike Downie

June 15, 7:00 – 8:30 PM Online and at Calgary Central Library

When Mike & Gord Downie heard the story of Chanie Wenjack, it was like an arrow shot through their heart. They vowed to find a way to tell it to the world. Mike will explore this dark chapter of residential schools in Canada, & help people understand the importance of Reconciliation & the need for Indigenous & non-Indigenous people to come together.

Learn more. 

Calgary Public Library: Two-Spirit: Creating a Culture of Respect

June 19, 5:00 – 8:00 PM at Calgary Central Library

Learn about Two-Spirit peoples stories and ways of life, while you explore ways in which you can help to create safe, respectful, and inclusive environments for Two-Spirit and Queer Indigenous peoples and communities with Marshall Vielle from the Centre for Sexuality.

Learn more. 

City of Calgary: Chief David Crowchild Awards and Solstice Ceremony

June 20, 11:45 AM – 4:00 PM at Municipal Atrium

The Chief David Crowchild Awards & Solstice Ceremony will be a momentous occasion.  Join us as we honour the contributions and successes of those who embody leadership, innovation, and dedication to their community.

After the event, we will be going to The Confluence Historic Site & Parkland to celebrate the solstice. The longest day of the year will be celebrated with a tobacco ceremony, round dance, and other activities.

Learn more. 

Calgary Public Library: Traditional Games

June 21, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM at Calgary Central Library

Have you heard of hoop and stick, stick pull, or the one foot high kick? Join us at Central Library in the Welcome Gallery to try out some traditional Indigenous games.

Learn more. 

Aboriginal Awareness Week Calgary: National Indigenous Family Day & Pow Wow

June 22, 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM at Enmax Park, Elbow River Camp (Calgary Stampede Grounds)

Join us for a free Pancake Caravan Breakfast and barbecue, Traditional Pow Wow, arts & crafts market, Hand Games tournament, and so much more.

Learn more.

Calgary Public Library: Star Stories, Apothecaries and Libraries: Pre-Contact Americas

June 26, 6:00 – 8:00 PM at Calgary Central Library

Join Elder Adrian as he shares an academic overview of the history of Indigenous science, medicine, and libraries before settler-colonial contact. There will be time for questions following the presentation.

Learn more.