NAIDOC Week celebrations will kick off early in Victor Harbor this year so more locals can be involved in events.
For the second time Miwi-inyeri Pelepi-ambi Aboriginal Corporation (MIPAAC) will run the event, chair of the board Jade McHughes, who is a Ngarrindjeri woman, said she was excited the celebration was being run by Aboriginal peoples.
"NAIDOC is my favourite week of the Aboriginal calendar, it is so because it is simply a celebration of Aboriginal people, culture, history and achievements," she said.
"It is all about celebrating our first people and the oldest living culture on the planet."
The week long celebration officially runs July 3-10, but Ms McHughes said MIPAAC wanted to have school involvement and decided to run their main event during the school term.
"We want to celebrate with our whole community and we want to educate community that want to know more so they too can have a deeper understanding and come and celebrate with us," she said.
On Wednesday, June 22 everyone is invited to join in the celebrations, which have been supported by the City of Victor Harbor, from 10.15am at the Grosvenor Gardens.
Participants, including local schools and community groups, will march down Coral Street, finishing at the Soldiers Memorial Gardens, where there will be entertainment from 11am.
Ms McHughes said there would be a Welcome to Country, smoking ceremony, flag raising, free BBQ lunch, cultural entertainment, children's activities and face painting.
There will be a traditional didgeridoo and dance performance by Warramungu and Yuggera man Dave Booth and his sons.
Nathan May, who descends from the Arabana, Yawuru and Marridjabin peoples, will perform a solo gig and Eddie Peters, a Torres Strait Islander man, will bring an Islander aspect to the celebrations, which Ms McHughes said was often forgotten in the region.
Ms McHughes said local groups would be running different craft workshops and there would also be a story time for children.
"I love that all these different community services are coming, and they want to be involved," she said.
A second NAIDOC event will be hosted by MIPAAC on Sunday, July 10, at Ratalang (Basham Beach) Conservation Reserve.
These celebrations have been supported by the Alexandrina Council and will run from 11am to 2pm.
Ms McHughes said this event will be similar to the Victor Harbor event, but there would be some huge differences.
She explained Ratalang was culturally significant land, and many local Aboriginal people had a strong spiritual connection to the area.
"It's a very different vibe down there... there's something special about that place," she said.
Uncle Moogy will perform a smoking ceremony and there will be a performance by a Ngarrindjeri reggae band.
Ms McHughes said there would be similar craft activities at the second event, and attendees would also have the chance to participate in language workshops.
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