Evergreen Park is hosting its first Indigenous Celebration Presented by Ovintiv on June 8-9.

The two-day event will feature Indian Relay Racing and also include drummers, singers and dancers; tipis; Indigenous food; Indigenous arts and crafts; and more.

Peace Country residents will have a chance to see for themselves the extreme and intense Indian Relay Racing as it makes its first Grande Prairie appearance at J.D.A. Raceway at Evergreen Park.

Riding bareback and often decked out in traditional markings and attire, teams race around the track competing in a relay race with horse exchanges in front of the grandstand.

“The competitors relish being able to celebrate our culture’s history through this sport,” said relay racing spokesperson Kimberly Big Crow. “It ties into cultural education and connects the younger generation to their elders, which enhances skill-building and family values within our people.”

This event, Evergreen Park hopes, will be the start of a much larger annual Indigenous celebration and showcase at the Park.

“The Indigenous community is very important to us. We want to partner with our local First Nation and Mette settlements to build a showcase of Indigenous culture and heritage,” said Park General Manager Kim Randall. “The Indian relay races are truly a unique expression of the connection between Indigenous Culture and the Horse.”

Also competing, in flat races, will be Lady Warriors, Chiefs and Little Braves.

Alberta Indian Relay Racing is an organization that welcomes participants from all Nations with the largest network of Indian relay professionals in Canada focusing on the revitalization of the centuries-old sport.

“Indian Relay Racing has been a proud tradition for over 300 years,” said Big Crow. “Our mandate is to provide exposure not only for our culture and heritage, but to showcase the horsemanship of Indian Relay Racing teams … and also for fans to see firsthand what the sport of Indian Relay entails.”

The races start at 1 p.m. each day and doors open at noon.

General seating tickets and Aureus Energy Services 50/50 raffle tickets are available on the Evergreen Park website here. Admission tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for those 11 to 17 and 65 and over. Children 10 and under are free.

There are also several sponsorship options. For information on sponsorships contact Evergreen Park Marketing & Sponsorship Manager Don Moon at 587-298-0548 or dmoon@evergreenpark.ca


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