2023 Indigenous Peoples Day of Wellness – Celebrations


This National Indigenous People's Day, the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) had the honor of hearing from many of you on how you celebrated culture, community, ​and wholistic wellness. The various gatherings and ceremonies held in communities across the province celebrated culture and resilience and continue to highlight the inherent strength and gifts of First Nations families and communities in BC.

Two of the National Indigenous People's Day gatherings that communities shared with us t​his year highlighted the power of sharing of our culture, land and languages ​continues to support and nurture our spirit and wellness as First Nations people in BC.


Bianca Sam is Carrier and Tse'khene from the Nak'azdli Indian Band in Fort St. James. She lives off reserve and away from her home community and attended the celebrations at the Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre in Surrey with her 9-year-old daughter. They enjoyed the various vendors and information and resources that were being provided and handed out. They also enjoy​​ed delicious bannock and chili. Bianca expressed gratitude for the event being able to connect with the community and the land.


The Splatsin First Nation's National Indigenous People's Day Celebration welcomed families, children and youth, and other partners and community members to attend and celebrate the festivities. Throughout the day, the celebration featured four male voices in song accompanying powerful drumming, and a dynamic MC who kept the crowds entertained, informed, and festivities moving.

There were various vendors selling popcorn, cotton candy, bannock, and Indigenous arts and crafts.  Some of the vendors included the Splatsin Education and Social Development booth, which was both giving away swag and opportunities to win prizes. Additionally, the Splatsin Health Centre also had several tables introducing their new nurse practitioner and health director with balloons, candy, draw prizes, and health information for everyone.

In addition to the vendors and information booths, there were also bouncy castles and a baby-chick holding station for the youth, and a pancake breakfast and luncheon BBQ for everyone who attended. The weather was perfect to gather, celebrate and honor the rich cultures, gifts, and resiliency of First Nations.​

- Mannie Roy-Bearden, Comm​​​unity Health Nurse, Splatsin First Nation

These were other 2023 Indi​​genous People's Day celebrations and events that took place:

  • Gitaanmaxx Band Council held a celebration and soapberry ice-cream making contest.
  • Community members attended the gatherings in Surrey, where Elder Eugene Harry, XiQuelem, provided an opening prayer and sang the Coast Salish Anthem.
  • The Prince George Tra​​​ditional Drum Group, created in 2020 to support communities and frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, attended and shared songs at the celebrations in Prince George.

We greatly enjoyed​ reading about all the amazing celebrations and gatherings that took place for National Indigenous People's Day across BC this year. Thank you to all of you who shared with us your celebrations with us!​​​

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