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Heartbeat of Mother Earth draws crowd to Kempenfelt Bay

'I like the idea of recognizing the resiliency and empowerment of our people,' man says on National Indigenous Peoples Day

National Indigenous Peoples Day began this morning in Barrie with a drum ceremony that represented the heartbeat of Mother Earth. 

A boat carrying Coldwater Ojibway, a drumming and teaching group, crawled along the shoreline of Kempenfelt Bay from the Southshore Centre to the Spirit Catcher. 

Healing songs were played and sung to the community for National Indigenous Peoples Day, a day in which the country recognizes and celebrates the cultures and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis people.

Approximately 30 people gathered at the Spirit Catcher as the boat made its way over for some songs before heading out, beating a drum that is to mimic the beating heart of Mother Earth.

BarrieToday spoke to a man from Ohsweken Six Nations, just outside of Brantford. He Carries the Strength of Two Buffalo was working in Bala and came down to be part of the ceremony, bringing some people with him to be part of the day.

He Carries the Strength of Two Buffalo told BarrieToday he appreciates the events that take place during National Indigenous Peoples Day.

“I like the idea of recognizing the resiliency and empowerment of our people,” he said. “The many nations that are here have gone through a struggle and today is one of those days where we get to take the day off to just recognize ourselves and have those who wish to support come out and help with that.”

He Carries the Strength of Two Buffalo said he's happy to see allies supporting Indigenous people this month and says that “if today there are Indigenous people speaking it would be a good time to exercise the ability to listen.”

Today's event was presented in partnership with the cultural sharing organization Red Quills and the City of Barrie.

The city has several events throughout the month of June in honour of National Indigenous History Month, which will culminate June 29 at Meridian Place with an event scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. with a gathering and end after 9:30 p.m. with a the public viewing of the film Kayak To Klemtu.