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November 14, 2021 – Dubai, United Arab Emirates – Global Affairs Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to advancing reconciliation and renewing the relationship with Indigenous Peoples, based on respect, co operation, and partnership.

During the month of November, Canada is presenting an all-Indigenous delegation of performers, speakers, panellists and cultural contributors during the Tolerance and Inclusivity week and the Te Aratini Festival of Indigenous & Tribal Ideas. The programme curated by Canada’s National Arts Centre (NAC) is an integral part of Canada’s overall participation at Expo 2020 and its theme “The Future in Mind”, which invites visitors to reflect on how to address emerging challenges between humans and nature and seize opportunities for innovation. The cultural programme that is dynamic, diverse, and rich in culture, welcomes visitors to discover and learn more about the richness of Indigenous cultures, as well as their lived experiences.

Participants include JUNO Award-winning Celeigh Cardinal, the west coast Dancers of Damelahamid, spoken word artist Zoey Pricelys Roy, activist Sarain Fox, Governor General Award-winning playwright Kevin Loring, and internationally recognized bands Digging Roots and Shawnee Kish. As well, Christine Frederick will hold a truthful, reconciling, and inclusive dialogue, to strengthen the ties that unite us and look toward the planet’s future with optimism while acknowledging the past. On the 15th of November, Canada will produce a special show to kick off the Te Aratini Festival from the Jubilee Stage at Expo. The programme will highlight Canada’s traditions and philosophy of gifting. Performers will offer their gift of artistic expression and share their contribution to the unified space. Ribbons will be passed between performers – symbolic of the fulfilment that comes with offerings and the ties that bind people together.

Te Aratini Festival of Indigenous & Tribal Ideas organized with a number of international partners, under strong leadership from New Zealand, is an opportunity for Canada to hold a truthful, reconciling and inclusive dialogue to acknowledge the past, look towards a promising future and strengthen the unity with Indigenous Peoples.

“At Expo 2020 Dubai, Canada’s theme, “The Future in Mind’’ – with a strong focus on diversity and innovation – is also an invitation to reflect on opportunities for reconciliation both in Canada and around the world. This month, in partnership with Canada’s National Arts Centre, we are proud to welcome a number of Indigenous Canadian artists and creators who will be performing on-site during Tolerance and Inclusivity Week, Te Aratini Festival of Indigenous & Tribal Ideas, and at Expo Jubilee Beats. The promotion of Indigenous culture and languages is a powerful tool for healing, reconciliation and the promotion of a strong sense of identity. We join our international partners across Expo 2020 Dubai in this important collective endeavor.”
– Marie-Geneviève Mounier, Commissioner General of Canada, Expo 2020 Dubai

“Canada’s National Arts Centre is committed to showcasing the importance and cultural uniqueness of Indigenous artistic voices and ideas, at home and abroad. This outstanding group of Indigenous artists will shine on the world stage at Expo 2020 Dubai during Tolerance & Inclusivity Week and share their insight and experience at the Te Aratini Festival of Indigenous & Tribal Ideas. It’s the perfect opportunity to bring people together through culture and artistic expression, looking forward to the future.”
– Heather Gibson Executive Producer, Popular Music and Variety National Arts Centre

The table below lists speaking engagements by members of the Canadian Indigenous Delegation. All are available for interviews on request. Synopsis for full bios on all of the artists and speakers are also available.


Canadian Indigenous Delegation of Speakers at the Te Aratini Festival

Date in November
Raven Kanatakta
(Digging Roots)
The potency of our arts, film, and music in maintaining community cohesion Wednesday 17th
Kevin Loring The future of our stories and narratives in diverse contexts: Visioning for the next 2000 years Wednesday 17th
Shoshona Kish Story forms that adapt, respond and endure in nature Wednesday 17th / Thursday 18th
Sarain Fox The potency of our arts, film, and music in maintaining community cohesion

How does a seat at the table influence outcomes in our communities

Wednesday 17th

Thursday 18th

Christine Frederick How does a seat at the table make a difference to outcomes in our communities Thursday 18th
Margaret Grenier
(Dancers of Damelahamid)
Planning for uncertainty with Indigenous Futurisms: weaving traditional knowledge and culture with futuristic ideas and settings Friday 19th
Zoey Pricelys Roy Cultural Performance Friday 19th


Associated links

Canada at Expo 2020 Dubai

“Canada’s Expo 2020 theme, The Future in Mind, serves as a platform to promote opportunities for trade, investment, education, tourism and immigration, from across Canada’s provinces, territories and cities, and throughout all sectors of society. Canada’s participation highlights Canadian leadership in key sectors, including artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, education, digitization, telemedicine, clean technology, agriculture, health sciences, aerospace and more. Canada’s approach to Expo 2020 Dubai is inspired by our core values of diversity, inclusion, human rights and gender equality as the foundation to building a prosperous and inclusive nation capable and intent on offering solutions to global challenges.”

Global Affairs Canada

“We define, shape and advance Canada’s interests and values in a complex global environment. We manage diplomatic relations, promote international trade and provide consular support. We lead international development, humanitarian, and peace and security assistance efforts. We also contribute to national security and the development of international law.”

About the National Arts Centre

The National Arts Centre is Canada’s bilingual, multi-disciplinary home for the performing arts. The NAC presents, creates, produces, and co-produces performing arts programming in various streams — the NAC Orchestra, Dance, English Theatre in collaboration with Black Theatre Workshop, French Theatre, Indigenous Theatre, and Popular Music and Variety — and nurtures the next generation of audiences and artists from across Canada. The NAC is located in the National Capital Region on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe.




Jennifer Cook
058 597 1920

Mouna Oirda
055 246 0243

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada

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