Canada Day began in Strathmore with a Day Break Ceremony held in Kinsmen Park. 

Chief Ouray Crowfoot, Elder Eileen Black, Astokomii Smith Indigenous Liaison with Town of Strathmore, Darlene Yellow Old Woman, Way long Black, Strathmore Mayor Pat Fule and MLA Leela Sharon Aheer were on hand for this morning's Day Break Ceremony.
Elder Eileen Black started the ceremony with a prayer and brought a message of peace and friendship and love. 

Darlene Yellow Old Woman spoke of her experiences at a residential school.  She said although residential school was difficult and despite the challenges, she faced there her goal was to learn as much as she could.  After a career in nursing, she retired but still keeps herself busy sharing her story in hopes of bringing understanding of what happened in our recent past.  

Chief Ouray Crowfoot spoke about the importance of education and his mother's experience at Old Sun residential school.  He shared how he feels through education he has seen growth and hopes to see more connection between everyone, saying the stronger the relationship is between Siksika and Strathmore the better it is for Alberta and that he sees a bright future for both Siksika Nation and Strathmore. 

Waylon Black said he enjoys being a part of the Strathmore community and that in all of his travels he said Strathmore is where he feels the most welcome.  He said that he sees the work that Strathmore is doing and thanked the town for the inclusion of the healing garden outside of the town office and the memorial for Kristian Ayoungman. He also recognized the hard work of Astokomii Smith and the importance her efforts have in joining the communities and continuing to build a bridge. 

Pat Fule shared that he understands this day brings mixed feelings for many people and that we cannot change the past but we can work together to change our future. Acknowledging that there is work to be done and that he is looking forward to the day when they will raise the Siksika Flag outside of the town office.

MLA Leela Sharon Sheer felt that hearing the stories and sharing the past tragedies and sacrifices that were made with us is how we can learn reconciliation and understand what we need to change as we grow and work to do better. She said to start Canada Day with this ceremony will start us on the right track.

Elder Eileen Black ended the ceremony by asking those in attendance to sing Oh Canada together.

At the fire hall, the Strathmore Fire Department was on hand to get everyone's day started with a great breakfast, even Sparky was out to make sure he found all of his Junior fire firefighters.  As usual, it was a packed house for the crew as they worked to make sure everyone started the day right. 

Members of the Strathmore RCMP and Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 10 carried the flags as part of the flag-raising ceremony along with the crowd who gathered later that morning at Kinsmen Park for the singing of the National Anthem. 

There were remarks from Mayor Pat Fule before more festivities kicked off. Throughout the day there were dog show performances by Jennifer Fraser and her family along with food trucks, vendors, a farmer's market, potato sack races, a bike parade, a bouncy house and a petting zoo.

Local scouts got visitors into a canoe and onto Kinsmen Lake, while kids dug in, at the watermelon eating contest.

People can also stop in at the municipal office to cool off from the heat, where volunteers were seen handing out cupcake treats.

Look to the skies over Kinsmen Park tonight at 11 for this year's Canada Day Fireworks show!! 

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