Media Advisory
June 20, 2024

The City of Toronto is set to observe National Indigenous Peoples Day with its annual Sunrise Ceremony – an Anishinaabe tradition – tomorrow.  

Date: Friday, June 21
Time: 5:30 a.m.
Location: Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St. W.
Note for media: Permission has been granted by the Elder for the ceremony to be filmed and photographed. 

The Sunrise Ceremony pays tribute to Indigenous traditions and culture, expressing gratitude for all creation and embracing Mino Baamodziwin (The Good Life). As Mishoomis Giizis (Grandfather Sun) provides light and warmth, attendees will form a circle, cleanse their spirit with sacred sage and participate in a pipe ritual with tobacco. The ceremony, led by Elder Garry Sault and Fire Keeper Geoff Daybutch, will include hand drum singing and teachings from Grandmother Kim Wheatley. 

Mayor Olivia Chow and members of Toronto City Council will be in attendance to participate in the Sunrise Ceremony. Following the ceremony, an Indigenous feast will be available for all attendees. The celebration will include teachings and stories about the imagery on the Toronto sign by artist Joseph Sagaj (Anishinaabe, Neskantaga First Nation) and Dr. Gokoomis (Grandmother) Jacque(line) Lavallée (Shawanaga First Nation). The Toronto Sign art by Joseph Sagaj was launched in 2022 in recognition of the UNESCO Decade of Indigenous Languages and has since increased the visible presence of Indigenous culture at Nathan Philips Square. All are welcome to attend the free event. 

For more information about National Indigenous Peoples Day and sunrise ceremonies, please visit the City’s Indigenous Events, Commemorations & Awards webpage. 

Toronto is home to more than three million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation and climate action, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Media Relations