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Hands hold an intricate quillwork flower design on a leather strap. Beneath the hands on a red table cloth are other quillwork designs and a small pile of quills.

National Indigenous Peoples Day


Join us as we honour National Indigenous Peoples Day and the history, heritage, strength, and diversity of Indigenous Peoples and communities in Canada.

From June 21-23, we're hosting a weekend of special programming centering Indigenous voices and experiences. Take part in a workshop with local artist Lance Cardinal, join our crafting circle, learn about beading, quillwork, fish scale art, and more. 

All National Indigenous Peoples Day activities are included with general admission. Admission is always free for Indigenous Peoples.


June 21 - 23

Book Nook 
10 am – 4 pm

Visit our special activity corner in the lobby, filled with Indigenous-authored books, comfortable seating, and activities for the whole family.

Story Time
11 am – 11:15 am

Join our staff in the activity corner as they read aloud from Indigenous stories. The stories chosen will be ideal for young children between the ages of 4-9.

Cards can be found by the Natural and Human History Halls entrances
10 am – 4 pm

Indigenous cultures have their own names for animals that share this land. Use your keen eyes to find these in the Human and Natural History Halls.

Indigenous Artistry Videos
Museum Zone 
10 am – 4 pm

Watch as hands carefully sew glass beads to smoked hide. Porcupine quills are soaked and flattened. Moose and caribou fur is stitched and trimmed into perfectly rounded tufts. Fish scales are intricately arranged, laying carefully one on top of another. 


June 21

Crafting Circle
Lobby, second floor by Manitou Asinîy 
Friday only: 10:30 am – 12 pm, 1 – 3 pm

Stop by our open, bring-your-own-materials crafting circle hosted by our Steward of Indigenous Collections. This space is open for anyone looking to reflect or connect through crafting. Bring a project you’ve been working on, or that one you’ve been meaning to start and settle into our cozy crafting space.


June 22

Miniature Cree Hand Drum Making with Lance Cardinal
Orange Room (Human History Hall) 
Saturday only:11 am; 12 pm; 1 pm: and 2 pm
Ages 15 and up

A miniature Cree Hand Drum made by Lance Cardinal

Join Indigenous artist Lance Cardinal from Bigstone Cree Nation for a cultural journey into miniature making! Work one on one with Lance to create your own 1/12 scale miniature Cree style hand drum. This workshop/tutorial will introduce you to new skills, cultural teachings and stories of the drum.

So Petikwe (come on in)! Join the circle, and make some lasting memories. All supplies provided, no experience needed.

*The drum you will be creating is the same drum featured in Lance’s recent appearance as a finalist on CBC television’s, “Best in Miniature” (Season 3). This “challenge” winning drum is now on permanent display in Toronto’s Little Canada attraction.



Lance Cardinal ᐊᐧᒐᐢᐠ, artist/miniaturist, Bigstone Cree Nation

Artist/Miniaturist Lance Cardinal is crouched putting the finishing touches on the front yard of a miniature house.

Lance Cardinal is a professional miniaturist, beginning his journey as a child almost 30 years ago.  Many of his miniatures are published in magazines and featured in local galleries. His work celebrates pop culture and Indigenous history. His replicas capture iconic set designs from television and film, such as the “Muppet Show” theatre, “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood'', or the scary house from the movie “IT” (2017). Lance also creates miniature Indigenous dioramas depicting life before western contact, and recently finished a 1/12 scale miniature replica of the St Martins Residential School, the same school attended by his Grandmother and Grandfather in the 1920s.