Every June 21st, thousands of Indigenous Peoples celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day (NIPD). This is a special day to acknowledge the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada. Joining in the celebrations is a wonderful way to learn more about Indigenous Peoples and cultures in your area. Under current pandemic restrictions many of these celebrations were virtual in 2021. Links to the live events were shared in Holy Family’s June 20, 2021 bulletin. Parishioners were encouraged to participate and learn about why NIPD is so important.
National Indigenous Peoples Day 2021 has passed but many valuable resources are still available through this link: 10 Ways to Virtually Celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day.
Why June 21st? In the northern hemisphere, the longest day and shortest night, the summer solstice, happens between June 20 and June 22. The summer solstice is of cultural significant for many cultures around the world. June 21st was chosen as the date for National Indigenous Peoples Day (formerly Aboriginal Peoples Day) in 1996. “Many cities in Canada are less than a hundred years old. But aboriginal people have lived in this land for more than a hundred centuries. On June 21st, this year and every year, Canada will honour the native peoples who first brought humanity to this great land. And may the first peoples of our past always be full and proud partners in our future.” Governor General Roméo LeBlanc For some background on NIPD and how it came to be, please read: National Indigenous History Month – Why it’s important
Here are some suggestions on how to learn more about our Indigenous brothers and sisters:
- Spend the day learning about the Indigenous history of where you live or work.
2. Learn some greetings in the Indigenous language of where you live or work.
3. Seek out an Indigenous restaurant or food truck.
4. Seek out music by Indigenous musicians.
5. Visit an art gallery that features Indigenous art.
7. Watch a movie by an Indigenous director.
9. Read and discuss the 10 Guiding Principles of Reconciliation from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report with family and colleagues.
10. The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is the framework for reconciliation at all levels and across all sectors of Canadian society.
First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples, as the original peoples of this country and as self-determining peoples, have Treaty, constitutional, and human rights that must be recognized and respected. Reconciliation is a process of healing relationships that requires public truth sharing, apology, and commemoration that acknowledge and redress past harms. Reconciliation requires constructive action on addressing the ongoing legacies of colonialism that have had destructive impacts on Aboriginal peoples’ education, cultures and languages, health, child welfare, administration of justice, and economic opportunities and prosperity.
Commemorating the 5th Anniversary of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Final Report (work to-date in our Archdiocese to fulfill the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action)