Calendar Events held during Aboriginal Awareness Week

OHSOTO’KINO: Indigenous Peoples Day at Studio Bell

Starts:  June 21, 2023 1:00 pm

Ends:  June 21, 2023 2:30 pm

Venue:  Studio Bell

As part of the OHSOTO’KINO initiative, join the National Music Centre and Aboriginal Awareness Week Calgary for a special event showcasing local Indigenous song, music, and dance. The day’s lineup includes champion hoop dancer Quentin Pipestem, powwow singers and drum group Eya-Hey Nakoda, and singer-songwriter Cynthia Hamar.

The National Music Centre’s newly updated Speak Up! exhibition also launches on June 21, giving the public an opportunity to learn about Indigenous culture and experiences through the lens of music. Speak Up! recognizes trailblazing Indigenous voices in music, including recently added artists Tom Jackson, Elisapie, Ferron, Fawn Wood, and Drezus. Featuring storytelling, audio, and artifacts, visitors to Speak Up! can learn how Indigenous artists are fostering dialogue and understanding to radically shift the Canadian paradigm of who First Nation, Métis, and Inuit people are.

Admission to Studio Bell is free for everyone courtesy of Stantec on June 21, National Indigenous Peoples Day.

About Quentin Pipestem:

Quentin Pipestem is a three-time world champion hoop dancer from Tsuut’ina Nation.

About Eya-Hey Nakoda:

Eya-Hey Nakoda is predominantly Nakoda from the Bearspaw, Chiniki, and Wesley First Nations in Morley, Alberta. However, they are proud to have singers from different tribes such as Siksika Nation, Cree, Muscogee, and Tsuu Tina Nation to name a few. At the powwows before grand entry, different members of the group will take their turn to offer tobacco to the spirit of the drum and pray. They pray for the dancers, the other drum groups, and all the people there. They give thanks to the spirit dancer, the singing spirit, the drum spirit (grandfather drum), and most importantly give thanks to the creator for life. They would also pray and ask for blessing from the drum so that when the dancers dance, or when the people listen to the music, they will be cured of any ailments. The drum group composes all original songs of their own. Whether it’s a big contest or a small traditional powwow, Eya-Hey Nakoda loves to sing and loves to make the dancers dance hard. Eya-Hey Nakoda continues to travel to big or small powwows and bring happiness to all who enjoy their music.

About Cynthia Hamar:

Cynthia Hamar is a folk musician who composes music that is menacing, powerful, and contemplative” (Music Arena Gh, 2022); an Alberta-born Métis singer-songwriter with four studio albums that prove her dedication to her craft. Hamar recently completed her Bachelor of Music, majoring in recording and production. During her time at MacEwan, she was the recipient of the Victor-Osten Performing Arts Award (2022), the winner of the 2021 Bent River Records Songwriting Competition, and was chosen to represent MacEwan as a songwriter and performer at their 50-year celebration. Hamar’s newest album, “Joint & Marrow” was released on Neon Moon Records September 2022, charting on earshot! The National Top 50 Chart, The National Folk/Roots/Blues Chart, and finished the year off at #26 on CKUA top 100 for 2022.

About Aboriginal Awareness Week Calgary:

Designed to raise cultural awareness within the city of Calgary and to celebrate contemporary achievements of Indigenous people in Canada, Aboriginal Awareness Week Calgary (AAWC) has developed into what it is today through the dedication and commitment of its volunteers.

Learn more about AAWC at

Event Contact Information

Submitted:  June 13, 2023

Modified::   June 16, 2023 

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