The aboriginal culture is one with deep roots both in Canada’s past and present. Although the original terms used to refer to aborigines in Canada used to be ‘Indians’ or ‘Eskimo’, they are no longer used in the present time and are considered derogatory. The aboriginal culture is reminiscent of the traditions of their ancestors which is reflected in the religion and occupations they practice. To showcase the richness and diversity of the aboriginal culture, there are galleries and festivals where you can explore all you need to know about this dynamic culture.
National Gallery of Canada – Aboriginal Art
The National Gallery of Canada has a distinct collection of art which cuts across history from the earliest times to the modern period which is made available for viewing to the public across the country. The aboriginal art at the gallery includes the Inuit, First Nation and Métis dating from the 20th century. However, predominance is given to more contemporary works from the 1980s to the present. At the contemporary art gallery, you can view works by Aboriginal artists such as Bob Boyer, Kent Monkman, Carl Beam among other prominent artists.
At downtown Ottawa, you can enjoy tour packages with Aboriginal Experiences which are designed to explore the authentic aboriginal culture. There are the Pow Wow dance performances where you can experience the interesting dance steps of the aborigine first hand and if you are experimental, even try out some steps too. There is also the traditional group meals where you can get a taste of authentic aboriginal cuisines combined with the native group experience of communal eating. You can also participate in the Storytelling and other guided tours including the interactive petroglyph mural projects.
Summer Solstice Aboriginal Festival 2017
In 1996, 21st of June was designated as the official ‘National Aboriginal Day’. It became a time when aboriginal people came together across Canada to celebrate the Summer Solstice. The events slated creates the opportunity to celebrate the culture and advancements of the First Nation, Metis and Inuit peoples. It is a family-oriented celebration which engages all age groups. The festival for this year will mark the 21st anniversary of the National Aboriginal Day. The event will hold between June 20-25 and an average of 40,000 peoples are expected to attend. At each annual festival, one of the cultures is highlighted.
The Snow Goose – (Art Store)
The Snow Goose is a family-owned art store which has been in the business of displaying and selling aboriginal art covering the Inuit art and Native Canadian art since 1963. They also restore broken sculptures; replacing tusks and other implements so as to facilitate preservation of these native arts. In the Native gallery, there is a wide selection of crafts and arts by First Nation peoples including the Iroquois Masks, West Coast Wood, and canoes. You can request information and pictures before your purchase. There is also a Wooden Gallery where you can view and purchase aboriginal-inspired sculptures by native Canadian artists.