Solstice = Latin for sun (sol) and to stand still (sistere).


A solstice is one of the two times of the year when we experience the most and the least amount of daylight in one single day and marks the beginning of a new season: summer or winter.

While Summer Solstice marks the longest day of the year, and when the Sun reaches its absolute highest,  Winter Solstice marks the shortest day of the year and when the sun is at its absolute lowest point relative to the equator.

Both days in essence remind us how life on Earth changes in connection to the Sun and how our seasons, or time, shape our world. Nothing lasts forever. We live in a realm where everything is constantly changing, dying and rebirthing.

When a solstice occurs, it can be seen as a dawn to a journey; it represents new beginnings.

Over the centuries, cultures around the world have celebrated with feasts, bonfires, picnics as well as songs and music. A Solstice Celebration dates back to ancient pre-Christian traditions. Humans may have even observed solstices as early as the Stone Age. For the Greeks, it would, according to some calendars, mark the start of the new year – and the month long countdown to the Olympics.

As for Canada, and for 26 years now, we have recognized Summer Solstice with an Indigenous Festival and a multi-disciplinary arts festival that brings together Indigenous artists, performers, educators, students and community members to share knowledge and celebrate Canada’s diverse Indigenous cultures.

Here are some suggestions for us as Canadians to help recognize and to honour this day, as well to celebrate the unique heritage, all of the diverse cultures and the abundance of outstanding contributions of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples.

  • Identify and acknowledge the Indigenous lands that you live on
  • Dispel the myths and misconceptions about Indigenous Peoples
  • Educate yourself on the identities and experiences of Indigenous Peoples
  • Take part in an online or an in-person event
  • Attend a celebration hosted by an Indigenous organization that honours Indigenous Peoples and their cultures

Take a moment to stand still and soak in our sun here on Summer Solstice, in Regina Downtown by joining in on the National Indigenous Peoples Celebration!

On June 21st, 2022, the following events will be happening in both City Square Plaza and Victoria Park located in Downtown Regina. For more information, click here


Words from Brandy Jones


Brandy is an Inuvialuit and Gwitch’in artist originally from Williams Lake, British Columbia. She now makes her home on Treaty 4 Territory in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Brandy, part of the Dene Nation says, “We call ourselves Dinjii Zhuh, descendents of man, human beings. And as a Tribal Group we are the Teetl’it Gwich’in, People of the Peel River Watershed, Treaty 11.”

She has been drawing Indigenous Artwork since the age of five. As a Treaty woman in section 35 of the Canadian Constitution: First Nation, Inuit and Métis, Brandy carries all parts of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada and USA.

She is inspired by many different forms of Indigenous art. In fact, her work is a mixture of Inuit, Métis, Gwitch’in, Haida and Salish where the bright colours represent every Indigenous Nation.

Brandy has a unique style that has never been seen before. She melds art into a style all her own which becomes a celebration of the beauty, success, hardships, and perseverance of all Indigenous Peoples.

Her artistic gifts & voice are the platform upon which she stands, educates, encourages, inspires and motivates her audience to explore all Indigenous Art(s).

Her pieces challenge her viewers to explore layers of beauty within Indigenous culture(s) – her own culture together with the many other Indigenous cultures she continually discovers and uncovers in her own journey as well as ours.

Her work represents the marriage or unity of all Indigenous Nations as well as the rising of a new generation that will help to heal the Elders, heal the families and to heal the Land together.

I recently had the privilege to speak with Brandy Jones. I had previously sent her some interview questions and asked her to respond via e-mail, but then we opted to a hybrid interview: on the phone & then editing the article together – a clean and more organic, spontaneous, natural interview which turned out to be a great exchange of stories and info – a wonderful connection!

Here is a good part of our conversation.



What does National Indigenous Peoples Day mean to you?

Oh, that is a big question. It means so many things to me: my history, the way I live, my identity, my struggles as I grew up. It has everything to do with my life, my artwork. It means a lot to me. This year is so important. June 21 is a time to look at our history, and there is so much healing to do. Summer Solstice is a time of renewal and replenishment, a time to access our most powerful selves. It is a time of growth. It is a time to celebrate all our identities and the rich history we have in Canada.

How does your art challenge your viewer / your audience?

Many people don’t quite understand my artwork. I have never seen it done. It is a mix of different Indigenous works. My art work is a mixture of Salish, Haida, Métis and Inuit art – it represents unity of all Indigenous Peoples from across Turtle Island. My work is the marrying of our many Indigenous cultures.

Are you a trained artist?

I am self-taught and established myself as an artist over the last two years. I have written an Inuit children’s book that has been incorporated into the French school system. My work with the Frost Festival and many logo designs for companies in Regina have also helped me blossom as a professional artist. I experiment, and I study. When I was in school in Williams Lake British Columbia, they placed me in a special art program that was supposed to be only a year for a child, but they allowed me to stay in the program for three years. That is what solidified my love for art. At the age of eight I drew my first Native piece of art. I was very influenced by the art I grew up around as a child as well as the art I saw in the Plains when I moved here to Saskatchewan when I was 12. It has been a journey of self-discovery.

Do you feel you have been gifted with talent?

I believe the Creator gives us all special gifts. I have spent thousands of hours crafting my medium as well as travelling to British Columbia and speaking to people of many Nations’ Peoples to be sure I am respectful in my practice of this type of art. I am from a fair-skinned family and had no connections to my Indigenous background. My only connection to my past while I was growing up was my art. I have always been drawn to my culture, and it is a large part of my being – I believe, as someone of mixed decent, that we can act as a bridge to both worlds!

Do you find meditation and healing in your art?

To me, my art work has always been a form of therapy, and it has helped me deal with many of my past traumas. I wouldn’t have survived without my art. I no longer look back on my past because my eyes are set on the future. I believe in working together and together we can achieve great things! I love being involved in the community in any way possible and strongly believe that peace and community are what make art so vital.

What is your favourite medium? Favourite theme to create?

I love working with acrylics and pencil. I also work with pelts, hides and wood. I am also working as a tattoo apprentice for a local shop here in Regina. One of my goals is to dedicate more time to two new styles: carving & beading. But I have been really busy with logos lately with some really big releases on their way, so stay tuned!

How has the public responded to your work?

So far I have been received with so much warmth, kindness and generosity from many Indigenous Peoples. I feel very privileged to be doing the work that I do today.

What hope do you see for our future?

Beautiful things are happening. I am watching the new generations evolve and the Elders start to heal and be heard. This is a rebirth for our First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples. I am focused on the unity of our people and working together in unity to bring prosperity and healing together for all people on Turtle Island.

Who or what is your main muse or inspiration?

There are two driving forces to the unity of my people and my family.
My husband Tracey is my best friend. His family have supported both my culture and my work, too. My husband and I work together to provide a good life for our only son. He is the light of our life and is always the brightest light in any room!

You are a mother. You are Indigenous. What did the Footprints project signify for you?

I am a mother. Motherhood is sacred. It is beautiful, and in our culture we all have special roles. There was a period in my life where I was separated from my husband and son because of addiction. But that time alone made me realize the importance of the family unit and community. It made me think of all of the families that had been separated before and was a wonderful time to speak openly with people about the past horrors of the Sixties Scoop and Residential Schools.

What does your son say about your work?

He and I like to draw and make crafts together. He loves my work and even asked me for a tattoo the other day!

Tell me about your experience with FROST.

I believe in my line of work 20% is the art and 80% is People. Art is about community and what better way to celebrate than a festival! I believe my work from Frost was reviewed well. It is a compact piece. I am now on Treaty 4 Territory and grew up with many Métis and Cree people here and try to honour them in my work. It was an incredible experience, and I am thankful to REAL (Regina Exhibition Association Limited) for being so kind while I worked with them. It was an incredible festival!


Do you have a special story to share?

I have been searching for my biological family my entire life, and this year I had the pleasure of speaking with a biological uncle. I plan to visit the village of my family’s origin. I was happy to receive answers.

What have you learned about yourself through your Artworks?

I have learned a lot about my culture and identity as an Indigenous woman, and I am proud of my heritage.

Do you have pieces available to purchase?

You can find some of my works displayed and available for purchase at “The Willow”. Please also have a look on my social media:

Brandy Jones Indigenous Art




Brandy says she is privileged to work full time as an artist. Her work is a celebration of beauty, success, hardships and the perseverance of Indigenous Peoples.


Suggested read & song for ALL – dedicated to Brandy, Tracey & Ethan (from me – andi!)


Raffi Cavoukian, known professionally as Raffi, is a Canadian singer-lyricist and author of Armenian descent. He was born in Egypt and is best known for his children’s music. He developed his career as a “global troubadour” or “global poet-musician”.

Raffi is a music producer, author and entrepreneur. He founded the Raffi Foundation for “Child Honouring”- a vision for global restoration.

Raffi wanted to create a musical tribute to Indigenous Peoples around the world. His song titled “First Peoples”, written by Raffi & Michael Creber, is featured on Raffi’s album Bananaphone (1994), and is exactly that – a glorious musical tribute to all Indigenous Peoples!








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