Indigenous Day moved to July after break-in and theft at HFC

Masha Scheele

The Hinton Friendship Centre (HFC) has received an overwhelming amount of support from the community since they announced their building was broken into on Sunday morning, June 16.

Police are investigating the break-in and robbery that set the aboriginal non-profit group back more than $4,000 and forced them to reconsider their local celebrations as part of National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21. The event was originally cancelled due to the break in and theft, but after receiving community donations the event is back on and slated for a later date of July 4.

“Whatever was donated we wanted to spend on the event,” said Lisa Higgerty, program manager at HFC, adding that HFC was overwhelmed by the community support. 

And since the event won’t be held on June 21, more performers are available to come to the event at the Hinton Friendship Centre.

Organizers are still confirming performers, but the event will include Edmonton Mètis Cultural Dancers, two indigenous drum groups from Grande Cache, traditional performers, a bannock contest, face painting, bouncy houses, and more.

Hinton’s Friendship Centre is one of 20 in Alberta that offer services to indigenous people and are funded by the federal government through the Aboriginal Friendship Centres Program.

Repairs will be made to the building and should be done before the event on July 4, added Higgerty.

“The impact this has on our clientele and staff has been traumatizing and disheartening by the event,” stated their original Facebook post on June 17.

An updated list of events for July 4 will be posted by the HFC once they are confirmed. The Indigenous Peoples Day event will run from 4 pm until 8 pm on July 4. To donate towards this event, e-transfer to (Lisa Robertson) or go to the HFC between 8:30 am until 4:30 pm. To volunteer, contact the HFC at (780) 865-5189.