Photo image: Indigenous Reflections
The month of June and June 21 holds a special place in our hearts as we come together to observe and honour National Indigenous History Month and National Indigenous Peoples Day (NIPD). It is a profound occasion where we unite to celebrate and genuinely recognize the invaluable contributions and vibrant cultures of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit.
It is essential to acknowledge that while these groups share certain commonalities, each possesses a distinct and deeply-rooted heritage, unique languages, cultural traditions and spiritual beliefs that truly deserve the utmost respect and recognition. As we commemorate Indigenous culture, it is equally important to confront the painful realities of cultural genocide and the prevailing anti-Indigenous rhetoric that still persists in our society, inflicting profound harm upon Indigenous Peoples.
The inception of this day can be traced back to 1996 when the former Governor General, Roméo A. LeBlanc, in consultation with First Nation, Inuit, and Métis leaders, made the official announcement. Significantly, June 21 aligns with the summer solstice, a date of great significance and profound symbolism within many Indigenous communities. NIPD serves as the pinnacle of National Indigenous History Month, a month-long observance throughout June that serves to shine a spotlight on Indigenous history, culture, resilience, and the pressing issues faced by Indigenous communities across Canada.
We can participate throughout the month of June by listening, learning, reflecting and celebrating.
- Understand that Indigenous communities in Canada have their own story to tell: A Story to Tell
- Listen and learn the history and distinct cultures of First Nations, Métis and Inuit
- Read the Calls to Action, in particular, Call #92 for Corporate Canada: TRC Calls to Action
- Visit the Assembly of First Nations website, the national organization representing First
- Nations Visit the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami website, the national organization representing Inuit
- Visit the Métis Nation National Council website, representing the Métis Nation
- Pick a film to watch from the National Film Board of Canada’s catalogue of over 200 Indigenous-created films
- Read the Calls to Action Accountability: A 2022 Status Update on Reconciliation
- Visit the Canadian Reconciliation Barometer, a set of questions that Indigenous and non-Indigenous People in Canada complete through a large online survey.
- How has your understanding of Indigenous Peoples evolved over time and what factors have contributed to this change?
- What does ‘decolonizing’ mean to you? From that perspective, in what ways can organizations transform and decolonize workplace practices?
- How can you contribute to Reconciliation efforts and foster positive relationships with Indigenous Peoples, both at an individual and community level?
- Attend an event on NIPD (and beyond): NIPD Events
- Donate to Indigenous-led organizations
- Purchase from Indigenous artists, creators and businesses
- Spread the word! One of the easiest and most effective things you can do is raise awareness about Indigenous Peoples; talk to a colleague, friend or family member and post on social media, use hashtags: #NationalIndigenousPeoplesDay #NIHM2023
Places to Shop:
- Anish Branding
- Indigenous Box
- Gitxsan Mystic Crafts
- Birch Bark Coffee
- Cheekbone Beauty
- Dreamcatchers Gift and Art Gallery
- Land of Daughters
- Indigenous Reflections
- Indigo Arrows
- Good Minds
- The Metis Mama & Papa
- TLC Creations
- Mini Tipi
- Mother Earth Essentials
- Moonstone Creations
- Nation Imagination: the Aboriginal Gifting Co.
- NeepSee Teas Traditional Medicines
- Old Tribes
Organizations to Volunteer or Share Donations with:
As we get closer to June 21, we will be back in touch in mid-month with an update that includes more events and resources for you to access.