National Indigenous History Month is a time for all people in Canada to reflect on the important ongoing work of reconciliation. It is a time to honour the history, heritage and diversity of Indigenous peoples in Canada, First Nations, Inuit and Metis, and to recognize the sacrifices and strength of their communities. June 2021 is the 12th year Canada has celebrated National Indigenous History Month.
There are many celebrations and events being hosted across Canada to commemorate Indigenous history, culture and peoples. In BC, Indigenous Tourism BC is hosting a series of virtual workshops; explore their website to learn about events that celebrate Indigenous cuisine, arts and culture, and honour wellness. Support local Indigenous artists, story tellers, and entrepreneurs. Reach out and connect with your neighbouring Indigenous nations to find opportunities to work together. Support your local Friendship Centre and contribute to building community; visit the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres website to learn more.
The BC Treaty Commission encourages everyone to participate, connect and learn about Indigenous history, cultures, traditions, treaty making, find your own way to contribute the ongoing work of reconciliation. This work cannot be done alone or in isolation – together we must recognize and address the legacies of colonialism and create a more equitable and inclusive society. Reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples is the responsibility of everyone in Canada.
Did you know?
National Indigenous Peoples Day has been celebrated as a statutory holiday in the Northwest Territories since 2001 and in the Yukon since 2017.
This year June 21st marks the 25th anniversary of National Indigenous Peoples Day (formerly known as National Aboriginal Day). The Assembly of First Nations (formerly the National Indian Brotherhood) first called for the creation of a National Aboriginal Solidarity Day in 1982. National Indigenous Peoples Day was created through a proclamation in 1996 following consultations and statements of support from Indigenous groups. June 21st was chosen to align with the summer solstice, in recognition of its significance within many Indigenous cultures.
Participate and Learn More
Read what Indigenous authors and artists have to say about National Indigenous History Month: Resilience and belonging: 7 artists reflect on National Indigenous History Month; Books to read for National Indigenous History Month.
Visit the Canada’s First Nations Radio website on June 21st to watch videos celebrating First Nations culture.
Participate in some virtual events, such as Indigenous Tourism BC Indigenous History Month Virtual Events or the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund Indigenous History Month Virtual Events.
Visit the Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada website to learn more about National Indigenous Peoples Day.