June 21 marks a notable day in Canada – National Indigenous Peoples Day. This day honours the unique heritage, diverse cultures, resilience and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples across Canada and Turtle Island (the continent of North America). Coinciding with the summer solstice and longest day of the year, it marks beginning of the fishing and berry picking season.

The month of June also marks National Indigenous History Month, a time for all Canadians to commemorate and learn more about the rich heritage, diversity and histories of Canada’s Indigenous peoples. Although these groups share many similarities, they each have their own distinct heritage, language, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs.

As one of the largest Indigenous business in BC, this day resonates deeply with TNDC. We applaud the strength, resiliency and rich culture and history of the Tahltan people and all Indigenous people across our country.

History of National Indigenous Peoples Day

  • In 1982, the now Assembly of First Nations called for the creation of National Aboriginal Solidarity Day; tensions that grew from the Oka Crisis and the Ipperwash Crisis led for repeated calls for a National Day of Recognition.
  • In 1990, Quebec became the first province to establish June 21st as a day to celebrate Indigenous culture.
  • 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
  • In June 1996, then Governor General Roméo LeBlanc made a proclamation declaring June 21st to annually be marked as National Aboriginal Day.
  • In 2009, the House of Commons unanimously passed a motion to make June National Aboriginal History Month.  In 2017 it was changed to National Indigenous History Month.

Grow your knowledge

Learning about Canada’s Indigenous Peoples, places and experiences is a step forward each Canadian can take on the path to reconciliation. We have compiled a list of resources that provide more information about Indigenous people and National Indigenous History Month to raise your awareness.

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