Aboriginal Peoples


Celebrating Edmonton's Aboriginal Community

Through diverse programming and events, EPL creates year-round opportunities for sharing, learning and fellowship. We also offer Aboriginal collections in most of our branches where you can access CDs, DVDs, children's materials, fiction and non-fiction books, as well as Aboriginal language collections created for, by, and about Aboriginal Peoples close to home and around the world.

National Aboriginal History Month
Celebrate the culture and heritage of Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples with EPL during National Aboriginal History Month.


There's no better place to celebrate National Aboriginal History Month than at EPL

Storytimes, crafts, music and more! EPL is the place to be in June for National Aboriginal History Month.

Program / EventDate | Time | Location

Film Screening and Discussion - Gently Whispering the Circle Back

Gently Whispering the Circle Back (50 min), was commissioned by Blue Quills First Nations College (Alberta, Canada) as a "community resource for healing and reconciliation." The documentary shares a journey of healing for all Canadians in a nation wounded by the Indian Residential School system. With dignity and deep sincerity, survivors and the children of survivors share their personal stories with us. We become part of a "circle of healing" as participants confront the trauma of the Indian Residential School system; come to understand the trauma; release their pain; and speak of transcending the trauma through the recovery of tradition, language, ceremony, and personal dignity.


The EPL screening of Gently Whispering the CIrcle Back will be followed by a time for sharing facilitated by Elder Charles Wood from Blue Quills First Nations College and filmmaker Beth Wishart MacKenzie.

Sunday, June 14
2-4 p.m.
Stanley A. Milner Library Theatre

The Blanket Exercise

The Indigenous rights history we've never been taught

Fifteen years ago, the Aboriginal Rights Coalition worked with Indigenous elders and teachers to develop an interactive way of learning the history most Canadians are never taught. The Blanket Exercise was the result; it has since been offered thousands of times and was last completely updated in 2013.

The exercise uses blankets to represent the lands of what is now called Canada, and the distinct cultures and nations which live on those lands to this day. Participants represent the First Peoples; when they move onto the blankets, they are taken back in time to the arrival of the Europeans.

The Edmonton Public Library is hosting students from Edmonton Public Schools who will deliver this program developed by KAIROS Canada.

Please bring your own blanket and a desire to learn!

Wednesday, June 17
10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Stanley A. Milner Library Program Room

Spring Along the River

Join expert programmers from St. Albert's Musée Héritage Museum for songs, stories, and games as we celebrate the return of spring along the Sturgeon River! Learn the names for baby animals and make age appropriate crafts as we focus on matching and creativity. Participants will have the chance to learn some Cree language!

Tuesday, June 2
1:30-2:30 p.m.

Monday, June 8
10:30-11:30 a.m.

Tuesday, June 16
10:30-11:30 a.m.
Castle Downs

Monday, June 22
10:30-11:30 a.m.

Tuesday, June 23
1:30-2:30 p.m.

Monday, June 29
1:30-2:30 p.m.

Art Lesson with Aaron Paquette

Celebrate National Aboriginal month by joining local artist and writer Aaron Paquette for a unique art making experience. Participants will have the opportunity to illustrate various indigenous symbols and understand their relevancy to indigenous culture.

Thursday, June 4
3-5 p.m.

Friday, June 12
10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Mill Woods

Friday, June 12
3:30-5:30 p.m.

Sunday, June 14
2-4 p.m.

First Nations Flute Stories with Amanda Woodward

Come join Amanda Woodward as she performs songs from the native wood flute and shares stories of native flute origin, animals, nature and Aboriginal awareness.

Sunday, June 7
2-3 p.m.
Whitemud Crossing

Saturday, June 20
2-3 p.m.
Jasper Place

Sunday, June 28
2-3 p.m.

Storytelling with Richard Van Camp

Join internationally renowned storyteller and author Richard Van Camp for captivating traditional Aboriginal storytelling. Van Camp has been recognized by the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers as Storyteller of the year (2007) for both Canada and the United States. Richard, a proud member of the Dogrib (Tlicho) Nation will also read stories from his books.

Tuesday, June 9
10-11 a.m.

Tuesday, June 16
10-11 a.m.
Lois Hole

Friday, June 26
1-2 p.m.

Tuesday, June 30
2-3 p.m.
Abbottsfield-Penny McKee

Aboriginal Collection
All EPL locations carry Aboriginal materials, and the Stanley A. Milner Library has a dedicated Aboriginal Collection which celebrate the arts, literature and culture of the Aboriginal community.

Aboriginal Programs and Events at EPL
Throughout the year, EPL hosts several Aboriginal focused programs and events including cultural programs and performances, Aboriginal book clubs, career planning workshops, health workshops and Aboriginal storytimes, to name just a few.