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VIDEO: Turtle Island Festival on Leon Avenue

The 400 block of Leon Avenue is alive with music, activities, vendors and food.

The Turtle Island Festival is a celebration of first nations culture.

The Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society is hosting its annual Turtle Island Festival today: National Indigenous Peoples Day.

Leon Avenue is closed to traffic from Pandosy to Ellis for the event which features performers, speeches, activities and vendors.

"It's our summer solstice," said Freda McLean from the Friendship Society. "It's one of the dates that our people have celebrated for eons."

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

McLean was all smiles as the street filled with smiling people on a Tuesday.

"It's a celebration of our culture and the highlight of the event is our mini pow-wow."

Along with the celebratory note is a serious undertone, however.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia <who> Freda McLean, Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society

Orange Every Child Matters shirts are on display.

They are a reminder of the recent rediscoveries of unmarked graves at residential schools.

"Every Child Matters is an event that we want to keep in the forefront. We don't want people to forget that," said McLean.

Overall the day is about aboriginal pride.

"It's an expression that we have survived and we will continue to survive."

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