The month of June is designated as National Indigenous History Month in Canada, with Monday, June 21 celebrated as National Indigenous Peoples Day. Virtual activities will be held across Canada on that day, celebrating the rich, cultural diversity of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.
The Canadian Constitution recognizes these three groups as Aboriginal peoples, also known as Indigenous peoples. Although these groups share many similarities, they each have their own distinct heritage, language, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs.
In cooperation with Indigenous organizations, the Government of Canada chose June 21, the summer solstice, for National Aboriginal Day, now known as National Indigenous Peoples Day. For generations, many Indigenous peoples and communities have celebrated their culture and heritage on or near this day, due to the significance of the summer solstice which marks June 21 as the longest day of the year.
On June 21, 2017, the Musqueam and Vancouver International Airport (YVR), which is located on unceded First Nations land that is Musqueam traditional territory, jointly signed The Musqueam Indian Band – YVR Airport Sustainability & Friendship Agreement. The latter is a 30-year agreement, based on friendship and respect, which is designed to achieve a sustainable and mutually beneficial future for both communities.
Throughout the month of June, with help from their Musqueam friends, YVR plans to share all things Musqueam on its Twitter feed @yvrairport—from bannock recipes to Musqueam culture and language.
Start your learning journey to help you mark this important month and National Indigenous Peoples Day by exploring more about the rich and diverse cultures, voices, experiences and histories of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples at rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca/.
This year, National Indigenous History Month is dedicated to the missing children, the families left behind and the survivors of residential schools.