June 21 was National Indigenous Peoples Day, and the Primco Dene Group of Companies celebrated with a free barbecue. 

Primco also used the occasion to bring attention to the Every Child Matters cause, which advocates for reconciliation through awareness of the history of Indian Residential Schools.

Everyone was welcome, and there was a big turnout at the parking lot shared by Primco’s head office, the Petro-Canada station, Hotel Dene and Casino Dene. 

“Indigenous Day is celebrated by all Indigenous peoples right across Canada, and it’s open to everybody,” said Tammy Charland-McLaughlin, Primco’s vice-president of operations.

The event was intended to be a drive-through, she said. Many people took their bannock burgers to go, but others lingered to visit. “I think everybody is so in need of socializing, right? We’re seeing people pulling up chairs,” Charland-McLaughlin said.

“We’re also promoting the Every Child Matters by giving out free T-shirts for everyone who’s attended today.”

Primco Dene’s CEO James Blackman was at the grill flipping burgers.

“It’s a good time to celebrate and bring everybody from our community together, especially after covid for a year and a half,” he said. “It’s just good to have everybody shaking hands and smiling, and seeing a lot of happy faces.”

“It couldn’t come at a better time to support Every Child Matters as well as Indigenous Day at the same time.”

Blackman said Primco places a high value on community involvement. 

“It’s important for Primco to be involved with all community events at all times. We always try as a group and a team to support every cultural or sporting event or any treaty event that we have within our community area,” he said. 

“It’s important for us to always be a part of it and show our support to the community so that we can get their support back.”

Every child matters. JEFF GAYE
CEO James Blackman and the Primco team keep the burgers coming. JEFF GAYE
The T-shirt crew.  JEFF GAYE