By Editor

Jun 3, 2024

Celebrating National Indigenous History Month

 

 

June is National Indigenous History Month in Canada, and this level of recognition provides an opportunity to learn about the unique cultures, traditions and experiences of First Nations, Inuit and Métis. It is also a time to honour the stories, achievements and resilience of Indigenous Peoples, who have lived on this land since time immemorial and whose presence continues to impact the evolving Canada.

The House of Commons designated June as National Aboriginal History Month in 2009. The name was changed to National Indigenous History Month in 2017.

National Indigenous Peoples Day

For generations, many Indigenous groups and communities have celebrated their culture and heritage on June 21 or around that time of year because of the significance of the summer solstice as the longest day of the year.

National Aboriginal Day, now National Indigenous Peoples Day, was announced in 1996 by then Governor General of Canada, Roméo LeBlanc, through the Proclamation Declaring June 21 of Each Year as National Aboriginal Day. This was the result of consultations and statements of support for such a day made by various Indigenous groups:

  • in 1982, the National Indian Brotherhood, now the Assembly of First Nations, called for the creation of National Aboriginal Solidarity Day
  • in 1995, the Sacred Assembly, a national conference of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people chaired by Elijah Harper, called for a national holiday to celebrate the contributions of Indigenous Peoples
  • also in 1995, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples recommended the designation of a National First Peoples Day

On June 21, 2017, the Prime Minister issued a statement announcing the intention to rename this day National Indigenous Peoples Day.

National Indigenous Peoples Day is part of the Celebrate Canada program, which also includes Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day on June 24, Canadian Multiculturalism Day on June 27 and Canada Day on July 1.

The Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association and our member boards honour this day, the cultures, languages and contributions of First Nation, Métis and Inuit peoples through “active listening, prayer and right action.”

We deeply appreciate the leadership of the Indigenous Trustees who serve on the OCSTA First Nation Trustees’ Advisory Council and Catholic school boards across Ontario. We offer our prayers and greetings to all First Nation, Métis and Inuit students, parents, teachers and communities on this day of celebration.

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