The Aboriginal Cultural Festival is a three-day summer event honoring and celebrating the rich First Nations culture and people in Canada. It is held on the grounds of the Royal BC Museum in Victoria’s Inner Harbor on the traditional territories of the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations. It’s a weekend of tradition, unity, sharing and storytelling through dancing, drumming, singing, food and art and coincides with National Aboriginal Day in June.
The First Nations people are tremendously proud to share their culture and traditional ways. The Tzinquaw Dancers from Cowichan First Nation treated us to a song we wouldn’t otherwise hear, a song so sacred they asked that no one record or photograph it.
Performers brought animals to life through dance and intricately carved masks. There was colorful regalia as diverse as the Nations represented, there was the heartbeat of Mother Earth echoing around the Inner Harbor heard through skillful drumming, and people from all walks of life smiling enthusiastically as they joined a friendship dance.
All photos by the author.