Celebrating Canada’s history and culture together

June 21, 2017 Eric Wiens

Recognizing National Aboriginal Day across Canada


June 21st, 2017, marks National Aboriginal Day in Canada. It’s an important day to reflect and embrace our nation’s history and the impact Aboriginal culture has had on our lives. Canada’s rich cultural fabric makes us unique—and a large part of that comes from our First Nation roots.


BirdsAboriginal artwork by Scott Stonechild featured in Stantec’s Calgary, Alberta, office.


Everyone will observe National Aboriginal Day differently. I will be spending the day in my community. Winnipeg has the highest population of urban Aboriginal people in Canada. The city is located on Treaty 1 territory, and is the homeland of the Metis Nation. Not a day goes by that I don’t see or experience a piece of Aboriginal culture. It has been part of my entire life. I grew up in La Ronge, Saskatchewan, where the population was predominately Cree at that time. As a kid, I spent time with my friends and their parents learning about our relationship with the land and animals. These lessons have stayed with me as I enjoy the outdoors now, with my own family. I am fortunate to have a lifelong appreciation of Aboriginal culture. It has had an important influence on my personal and professional life.

At work, we have strong partnerships with local Aboriginal communities. Stantec has worked in Winnipeg for more than 60 years. We know how important it is to preserve our heritage and respect the land that generations of people have called home. We partner with many local Aboriginal businesses and are currently working to develop key infrastructure including water, transportation, health care, and eight First Nation school projects. For us, it’s more than just work. Our partnerships with the Aboriginal community support our commitment to design with community in mind. Working together, we are creating inclusive places for students—and their families—to experience education and the sense of community.  

Abstract butterfliesAboriginal artwork by Samuel Bighetty is featured in the Calgary, Alberta, office of Stantec.

Throughout the month of June, Aboriginal art will be featured in our offices across Canada. Some of this art is on loan from local artists, some of the art belongs to our partners and employees. Everyone will have the chance to appreciate local talent and embrace an important part of our heritage.

Get involved in the celebration
Stantec is proud to sponsor Aboriginal Day Live, presented by Aboriginal Peoples Television Network(APTN). On June 21st Aborignial Day Live will be broadcast across Canada from 7 pm to 2 am ET on APTN.

Aboriginal Day Live 2017 includes a lineup of more than 70 of the biggest names in music and television performing live on stages in eight Canadian cities—Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Yellowknife, Edmonton, and Vancouver. Performers in this 11th edition of the show include Charlie Major, Classified, Daniel Lanois, Derek Miller, Digawolf, Don Amero, Florent Vollant, George Leach, Iskwé, Lightning Cloud, Nelly Furtado, Neon Dreams, Radio Radio, Taboo, and Zachary Richard.

Aboriginal Day Live is Canada’s largest National Aboriginal Day celebration of Aboriginal Peoples’ culture and heritage. Visit aboriginaldaylive.ca for the full performance lineup and broadcast information.

About the Author

Eric Wiens

Eric Wiens has an extensive background in the planning and delivery of infrastructure projects across Western Canada. Outside the office, Eric enjoys spending time with family, outdoor activities, and building faith communities.

More Content by Eric Wiens
Previous Article
Indigenous healthcare facility design, a conversation (Part 1)
Indigenous healthcare facility design, a conversation (Part 1)

Three healthcare designers discuss creating an inclusive and respectful project framework

No More Articles