Crawford Lake Conservation Area to host festival on National Indigenous Peoples Day

In celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day, Crawford Lake Conservation Area will host a vibrant festival on June 22, 2024, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., honouring Indigenous history and culture in the park’s reconstructed 15th-century Longhouse Village.

The festival, a collaborative effort with Grandmother’s Voice, a prominent Indigenous organization dedicated to uniting Indigenous voices, warmly invites individuals from all backgrounds to participate in the day’s events.

“We’re proud to offer a day of celebration and education at Crawford Lake during National Indigenous History Month, in partnership with Grandmother’s Voice,” stated Craig Machan, Director, Parks & Operations at Conservation Halton. “With three reconstructed longhouses, Crawford Lake’s Longhouse Village is an exceptional place to visit to experience culture and history and to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 22. Our partners at Grandmother’s Voice will be leading programs for visitors of all ages that inspire learning about the land and that bring stories of the past to life.”

Attendees will have the unique and exciting opportunity to gather by the fire and learn about Indigenous history and culture from esteemed Elders Renee Thomas-Hill, Gail Whitlow, and Alan Sutherland. Visitors can also explore the Deer Clan Longhouse exhibit and visit the Three Sisters Garden, planted by the Ojibiikaan Indigenous Cultural Network, to gain fascinating insights into traditional Indigenous agriculture and foodways. To honor the indigenous origins of lacrosse, sticks and balls will be available for play in the village. Children will enjoy engaging in a simulated archaeological dig and learning about archaeology in Ontario hands-on. The day can be capped off with a scenic stroll around the rare meromictic lake and a visit to the trail featuring larger-than-life chainsaw sculptures of species at risk.

The festival is free for Conservation Halton members, and for non-members, we have made the reservation process for Crawford Lake online, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free experience for all attendees.

Laura Steiner, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Milton Reporter, Milton Reporter