Three day celebration of Indigenous culture kicks off in downtown St. Catharines

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A three day celebration of Indigenous arts, culture, and tradition has officially begun in downtown St. Catharines.

The Celebration of Nations kicked off Friday morning shortly after 6 a.m. and will continue until Sunday with more than 40 events including music and dance performances, film screenings, and an outdoor artisan market.

The sunrise ceremony featured teachings from respected elders as they built up a fire with cedar, wood, birchbark and tobacco.

Customary 'firekeepers' will be watching over the sacred flame all weekend long until the celebration reaches it's end on Sunday evening.

Events will be taking place at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, The Mann Raceway Plaza, and the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.

This year's theme is 'Empathic Traditions: Honouring Mother Earth.

You can find the full list of events here.