Abbotsford Arts Council

Promoting local artists since 1971

Aboriginal Arts and Culture Celebration
June 4, 2016 11am - 4pm
Mill Lake, Kariton Art Gallery Grounds

"Bringing the community together to showcase
Aboriginal Arts, Culture and Traditions"

In honor of National Aboriginal Awareness Month the Abbotsford Arts Council would like to invite you to a free event celebrating First Nation culture and traditions.

We will be showcasing various traditional and contemporary First Nation Artists, Performers and Storytellers including but not limited to:  Drummaking, Cedar Weavers, Beaders, Painters, Metis Jiggers, Drummers, Singers and Sto:lo Storytellers. We will also have a children's tent with various crafting stations and facepainting. Make sure to stop by and get a taste of our fresh bannock and salmon jerky.  So bring the whole family and a picnic lunch and come make a day of it your will be glad you did!

Center Stage
11am - 3pm

Matsqui Youth Drum Group 

We are a relatively new group who have been working with Darren Charlie over the passed couple years to not only learn our songs but also the importance of the drums in our culture. We range in ages of 18months all the way to 20 years old.

This group will open the center stage with Darren Charlie, The Welcome Song, The Matsqui Song and The Salmon Song. 

Fraser Valley Metis Association

Abbotsford Arts Council  is proud to present the Horvat's Group of  fiddler and jiggers will be performing throughout the day on center stage.  Come and experience the sounds of the fiddle and learn how to dance a traditional Metis jigging.

Featured Story Tellers

Naxaxalhts’i, Albert (Sonny) McHalsie - Cultural Advisor/Historian and Honorary Doctorate of Law, University of Victoria.  Dr. Naxaxalhts’i is the Cultural Advisor/Historian of the Stó:lō Research and Resource Management Centre.  Naxaxalhts’i has worked for the Stó:lō as a researcher in cultural heritage and aboriginal rights and title issues since 1985.  He currently acts as the cultural advisor on the Treaty Negotiation Team for the Stó:lō Xwexwilmexw Treaty Association. He has literary credit but  his areas of expertise include Halq’eméylem Place Names, Fishing, and Stó:lō Oral History. He has also been featured in many television documentaries for the CBC, APTN and Omni. He is a member of the Shxw’ow’hamel First Nation, the proud father of two girls and six boys, and has six grandchildren. He continues to fish at his ancestral fishing ground at Aseláw in the Stó:lō Five Fishery in the lower Fraser River canyon.

Eagle Child – Cree from Saddle Lake First Nation Alberta Canada. His involvement in sports took him to the University of Alberta where he graduated with a Bachelor of Education. Eagle Child’s spiritual journey has taken him to Calgary, Alberta – where he learned the art of silversmithing -- and Vancouver, British Columbia, where he continues to create beautiful healing jewelry--pendants, bracelets, rings--an artform only he designs. While living in Sedona, Arizona, Eagle Child taught himself to play the Native Flute.  He has shared his music, jewelry and native traditions to many while driving tours to the Grand Canyon and to various sites around Sedona. As a motivational speaker and a healing facilitator, Eagle Child incorporates his Native Flute music with Elder counseling and workshop presentations.


Darren Charlie, also known as Qwetoselten, is a well-known drum maker from the Sts’ailes Indian Band (a Coast Salish tribe located near Harrison Hot Springs, BC). He owns and operates Sasquatch Drums and Sasquatch Tours & Cultural Presentations.   

 Darren has more than 30 years of drum making experience; he was taught by elders from the Sts’ailes community.  Darren has provided elk, deer, moose, and buffalo hand drums and floor drums to native and non-native communities in the Pacific Northwest.  Many of Darren’s drums are in use in longhouses in the lower mainland and on Vancouver Island.

Darren has shared his knowledge of drum-making and singing with many different groups throughout BC and Washington State.  Darren has created a workshop called Voice of the Drum which allows students to make their own drum, learn the teachings of the drum, and listen to native songs.

 Darren’s drums have been displayed in the Canadian Pavilion at the Torino Olympics, and various locations in Vancouver; one notable piece is a giant 30” drum displayed on a totem pole carved by Francis Horne for Vancouver Native Housing.

Jay Havens is an artist of Haudenosaunee Mohawk and Scottish Canadian ancestry from the Six Nations of the Grand River and currently based out of Haida Gwaii, BC. He is an interdisciplinary artist working in the fields of contemporary art, scenography and education. Jay holds a BFA from the University of British Columbia and is currently a master’s candidate at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Since 2009 Jay has been partnered as Artist in Residence for the Abbotsford School District where to date he has produced 25 murals and various collaborative art projects which speak to the history of the Fraser Valley as told from First Nations perspectives.

Artist Bio

Darren Charlie, also known as Qwetoselten, is a well-known drum maker from the Sts’ailes Indian Band (a Coast Salish tribe located near Harrison Hot Springs, BC). He owns and operates Sasquatch Drums and Sasquatch Tours & Cultural Presentations.   

Cara Ogigon is a passionate recent beader and painter. She began in 2012 with mainly Inuit designs and moving to west coast styles. Cara is of Inuit descent and her family originates from Kugluktuk, Nunavut

Gabriel S. George - Skwah Nation - Stolo
Carver, Beader, Painter
Gabriel loves to work on totem poles, masks, drums and talking sticks, he also beads and paints when not working with wood

Gracie Kelly -Tselweyeqw Tribe/Soowahlie
Cedar Weaver
Sto:lo Traditional Teaching Workshops
Digital Story Telling
Certificate Training
Phone 604-795-0464
Darlene Harris (Stolo / Thompson)
Company Name - Qwelot's Beadwork
Phone - 604-793-7036
Qwelot - Stolo Indian Name

Fraser Valley Metis Association will be on here with an information booth and also there will be Metis fiddlers and jiggers will be performing on our center stage.  Drop by their booth and have a taste of the bannock they will be serving.

 Valerie Davidson - resides in Vancouver
Inspired by First Nations Ojibwa ancestors to create beadwork & custom Jewellery.
  Has been featured at Klahowya Village in Stanley Park.& Ruby Creek Art Gallery Sea Bird Island , Agassiz BC

Pauline Johnson - Surrey BC
Cree Nation
Will be doing dream catchers for the public to view and will have her necklaces, dream catchers and earrings for sale


The Abbotsford Arts Council needs your help! 
Did you know the Abbotsford Arts Council is a non-profit organization and we campaign for arts and culture in Abbotsford across all genres, from community theatre groups, musicians, visual artists, literary artists, comedians, entertainers, and dance performers to arts advocates? One of our goals is to recognize and support cultural events and creative individuals that provide value to our community. To achieve our goals, we rely on the support of advocates like you. You can help us by making a monetary contribution of any amount. Your donation will help us continue to showcase the work of local artists through valuable events such as the Arty Awards.