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Moncton, N.B. hosted its first ever National Aboriginal Day on June 21, and CUPE members were there to help celebrate the occasion.

The day began with a sunrise ceremony at Riverfront Park, on the banks of the Petitcodiac River.  At noon there was an official flag raising ceremony at Moncton City Hall accompanied by traditional prayers and drumming. Participants then walked in recognition of “The Walk for the Seven Generations” down Main Street and across to Riverfront Park.

During the opening ceremonies, the “Mi’kmaq Honour Song” and welcome were given in the traditional language, followed by the official proclamation declaring June 21 as National Aboriginal Day. The proclamation was given in both official languages by Romeo LeBlanc, former governor general of Canada from Memramcook, N.B.

Activities included traditional music and dancing, a talking circle, games and face painting for the children.

Closing ceremonies included a fireworks display.