From dancers and singers to paddlers and parades, it will be a festival full of tradition this weekend in Victoria.
The Aboriginal Cultural Festival is being held on the traditional lands of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, and the festivities kicked off this morning with the arrival of the canoes in the inner harbour.
“It just goes back in time for our Nations,” says Songhees Nations Chief Ron Sam, “It’s always what was done by our people, our ancestors. When people came ashore, they asked for permission to come ashore and to let us know they’re here in peace and friendship.”
That traditional scene was re-created this morning as three canoes paddled ashore to kick off the third annual Aboriginal Cultural Festival.
For the next three days, locals and tourists can get a first hand taste of aboriginal culture in Victoria’s harbour front.
“For us it’s about showing our culture, our traditions. Showing a little bit about our music and our art,” says Paula Amos of Aboriginal Tourism BC.
The festival features dozens of vendors, performers, and and even a Songhees food truck, serving up some traditional cuisine.
It’s the third year for the event, which continues to grow in popularity.
“Our culture is just becoming more revitalized, so more and more people want to get involved in our culture,” says Amos.
The festival runs right through Sunday, and is free to the public.