Bicentennial of War of 1812 makes native celebration in London extra special

June 20, 2012

By John Matisz Metro London

For more than two decades, London’s native community has participated in an annual celebration called National Aboriginal Solidarity Day.

This year’s event, scheduled to run from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Thursday in Harris Park, holds a special meaning to organizers, as it’s the bicentennial of the War of 1812 – a landmark event in native American/Canadian history.

“Because of the tenacity and wit of the indigenous people in trying to protect and ensure the cycles of life would continue,” organizer Denise Ritchie said, “we’re now the country of Canada.”

Londoners of all ages and ethnicities are encouraged to stop by the once-a-year gathering in order to experience native culture, Ritchie says.

“All Canadians should take some time to celebrate this day.”

Ritchie says the combination of offering traditional native activities, such as a grand entry powwow and smoke dance, mixed in with vendors and gate prizes, will create a “carnival-type atmosphere.”

The event is being hosted by a number of community organizations, including London Public Library, WOTCH, and the Athlohsa Native Family Healing Services.

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