Awen' Gathering Place

The Awen’ Gathering Place is a space along the Collingwood waterfront to recognize the First Nations presence in South Georgian Bay and to create opportunities for engagement of Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples while fostering reconciliation through education and conversation. 


Logo for National Indigenous People's Day


On June 21, we recognize and celebrate the history, heritage, resilience and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis. Celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day with a special concert at the Shipyards Amphitheatre located 2 North Maple Street.

J.D. Crosstown Quartet, 6:00 p.m.


J.D. Crosstown is a Canadian Folk Singer whose passion is in telling stories with his own words. Stories that capture the poignancy of a time and a place, of heartbreak, loss, hope, love, adventure and friendship. 

Heavily inspired by the stories embedded in traditional folk, country, and blues songs, J.D. Crosstown has developed his own unique style that reflects all these genres. From country waltzes to finger-style blues, J.D. always keeps people guessing about what he’ll play next.

Having many hopes and aspirations, J.D.'s main concern is that his songs provide people with a place to lean back and focus for a moment or two.

Twin Flames, 7:00 p.m.

Four-time Canadian Folk Music Award recipients and 2022 Vocal Group of the year, concert headliner Twin Flames builds bridges across cultures, continents, and styles, and has been celebrated internationally. Twin Flames’ unique style and sound make it difficult to narrow their work to a single genre as they craft enticing musical arrangements, standout harmonies, and beautiful rhythmic patterns while sharing a genuine love for songwriting that stands out lyrically and melodically for the world to hear. 

From the beginning, this husband-and-wife duo has chosen to let their music speak for itself while displaying pride in their heritage through a mix of songs and languages.

Community Celebration at the Awen Gathering Place, June 22, 9:30 a.m.

Enjoy a morning of music with Anishinabe Kwe singer/songwriter Lisa Marie Naponse and Inuk throat singers Janice and Evelyn Oolayou at the Awen’ Gathering Circle organized by Muckpaloo Ipeelie. Explore the Indigenous vendor market and games with Metis Jennifer McFarlane. Celebrate National Indigenous Peoples at the Awen Gathering Circle.



2024 National Indigenous People's Day Artists

A land acknowledgment is a formal statement of gratitude, an understanding of territory and a means of honoring Indigenous people who have lived and cared for the land since time immemorial. In the past they were shared by Indigenous People when visiting other territories, a customary protocol to express respect and to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land and are now an important part of reconciliation. Land acknowledgements ask of us to be mindful and reflect on our shared history, relationships and place.

Across Ontario there are over 40 treaties and other land agreements. Treaties were established as agreements between Indigenous Nations and the Crown. They form the basis of relationships, setting out the rights and responsibilities of First Nations and government (federal and provincial). The treaty-making process was undertaken in the spirit of peace, co-existence and mutual respect by First Nations people.

Treaty 18 was signed on October 17, 1818. It is also known as the Lake Simcoe-Nottawasaga Treaty.

The first week in November is Treaties Recognition Week. You can find additional information about the importance of treaties and treaty relationships at the following links:
Native Land Digital
Whose Land Treaties and Agreements
Lake Simcoe-Nottawasaga Treaty No. 18
Treaties Recognition Week

Collingwood resides within the Territory of Saugeen Ojibway Nation, which includes Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation and Saugeen First Nation and is home to many Indigenous peoples including Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe.

The concept for the Awen’ Gathering Place is based on the teachings of renowned Anishinaabe educator, artist, and poet Dr. Duke Redbird. It links the seven layers of the food forest to the Seven Grandfather Teachings, an ancient Anishinaabe/Midewiwin teaching on the ethics of proper behaviour and conduct or ‘the good way of life’. These teachings are linked to lands that were for thousands of years, the source of life for the Anishinaabeg peoples who gathered foods, medicines, and materials from the forest in the area that is now Collingwood.

Photo of the Inukshuk with sun setting in the background by Doug BurlockAn inukshuk/inuksuk is an iconic Canadian symbol but what does it mean? 

For generations, Inuit have been creating these impressive stone markers on the vast Arctic landscape. Inuksuit (plural of Inuksuk) can be found throughout the circumpolar region.

Translation of inuksuk means 'human like'. They offer direction, but not in the way you might expect and they also act as landmarks. 

To follow their direction, look through the stomach if there is one or through the legs. The inuksuk faces the direction to go. 

Photo credit: Doug Burlock Photography

Three Inuit with their arms around each other sharing in laughterVisit Collingwood's Inuksuk to learn more.

Adjacent to Collingwood's Inuksuk you will find a sign with more about Inuit culture, created with the support of Muckpaloo Ipeelie. Read about Inuit traditional land, language and food and gain a new perspective on the Inuksuk at Sunset Park.