Today is National Aboriginal Day, and today in particular is the 20th Anniversary of National Aboriginal Day in Canada. It is an important day to celebrate the rich cultures and hertitage of Canada's First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples.
What is National Aboriginal Day?
"On June 21 National Aboriginal Day is celebrating 20 years of strong vibrant cultures and traditions. This is a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of 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. 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 as the longest day of the year" (From Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada).
National Aboriginal Day is an important time for us to reflect on our past, present and future relationships. As we celebrate the Indigenous peoples in our community (both locally and nationally), it is important for us to reflect on how we can embrace the 94 recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. You find the TRC's final report and information about it HERE.
Another important document to be aware of and reflect on today is the United Nations' Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Lastly, be sure to check out the newest Heritage Minute video that was released today. If you have attended/visited Trent University, I'm sure that you've heard of Wenjack Theatre. Learn about the individual the lecture hall is named after. Heritage Minute can be watched HERE.
While National Aboriginal Day is not a Statutory Holiday, we urge you to make time for it and celebrate our Indigenous brothers and sisters and stand in solidarity!