Events were held across Canada on Tuesday marking National Indigenous Peoples Day, including in the capital.

“It is a day to recognize the culture and contribution of indigenous people across Canada,” says Chief Wendy Jocko of Pikwakanagan First Nation.

A ceremony was held at the Aboriginal Veterans Monument on Elgin Street to honour Indigenous veterans.

Jocko served in the military for 23 years including overseas.

“It is very significant because it is honouring the valuable contributions that the indigenous people made to Canada during conflicts of war and peacekeeping duties across Canada and overseas," she said.

 “Indigenous people have been overlooked in Canada. The history has been pretty much erased, the culture has been erased. many Indigenous people have made contributions to Canada and nobody knows.

“I am proud to be an Algonquin because we have lived on this land for thousands of thousands and thousands of years.”

National Indigenous Peoples Day also coincides with the Summer Solstice Festival. It is a five-day festival taking place at Madahoki Farm off Moodie Drive.

The festival features dancing, traditional drumming, and will culminate with a large festival and pow-pow on the weekend.

Stephanie Sarazin is the artistic director of the festival.

“For as long as we can remember, indigenous people have been celebrating the summer solstice or the longest day of the year as it does mark our people a great day of celebration," she said. "So we have been gathering for as long as I can remember, and it is wonderful to see how it has grown over the years.

She says the festival will include education days for students.

“We created this festival to help build bridges for our non-Indigenous friends," she said. “It is a great place for our Indigenous people to gather, to share the culture and the talent that we have and our non-Indigenous friends to learn who we are.”