Mi’kmaq communities throughout the province are celebrating National Aboriginal Day today, June 21. “In Nova Scotia, the Mi’kmaq people are an important part of our province’s culture and heritage,” said Premier Darrell Dexter, who is also the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs. “National Aboriginal Day is an opportunity for Nova Scotians to celebrate that rich culture, as well as the history of the Mi’kmaq and their contributions to the province. “I hope that all Nova Scotians will take the opportunity to recognize this important day, and the 2011 Halifax International Powwow, taking place Canada Day weekend on the Halifax Common.” Canada’s National Aboriginal Day gives people the chance to learn more about Aboriginal people and their contributions towards the country’s development and progress. It was first proclaimed in 1996 by former Gov. Gen. Romeo LeBlanc and is held on the summer solstice, the longest day of the year and the first day of summer. Traditionally, summer solstice is the day on which many aboriginal communities celebrate their cultural and spiritual beliefs. Visit www.halifaxpowwow.com for information on Mawio’mi 2011: Halifax International Powwow and www.ainc-inac.gc.ca to learn more about National Aboriginal Day.