Monday, June 21 marks the 25th annual National Indigenous Peoples Day (NIPD), a day dedicated to celebrating the achievements, advancements, culture and heritage of Inuit, Métis and First Nations peoples in Canada. For the second consecutive year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most celebrations will be held online.
Why was National Indigenous Peoples Day started?
The recognition of NIPD, formerly known as National Aboriginal Day, on June 21 became official in 1996 after a long period of consultations and expressed support for such an initiative by several Indigenous groups. June 21 marks the summer solstice, the longest day in the calendar year, the time of year many Indigenous peoples consider the height of spiritual awakening. Read the proclamation of declaration of NIPD here.
The Bank of Montreal (BMO) partnered with First Nations University of Canada and Reconciliation Education to launch a new e-learning course, nisitohtamowin ᓂᓯᑐᐦᑕᒧᐃᐧᐣ An Introduction to Understanding Indigenous Perspectives in Canada. Register here until July 15.
Additionally, the University of Calgary (U of C) is hosting its 6th annual Campfire Chats event, where four Traditional Knowledge Keepers will share Indigenous stories and symbols about journeys, gathering and togetherness. This is an event you won’t want to miss. Register here.
National Indigenous Peoples Day is an excellent time to join the conversation about Indigenous history, culture, art and heritage in Canada. If you're not sure where to begin or don't feel comfortable speaking up, we recommend you start by following the #NIPD2021 hashtag on social media to gain perspective on the day, open yourself up to new voices and embrace the conversation. You can also follow and engage with @GCIndigenous and @GovCanNorth on Facebook and Twitter and @gcindigenous on Instagram.
Read the TRC Reports
In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC) published its Calls to Action report. The TRC was born out of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement to facilitate reconciliation with former residential school students, their families, their communities and the Canadian public. It is important to read this 20-page report and understand how we can all advance reconciliation.
This learning and activity guide
If you have children at home you would like to learn about NIPD with, we encourage you to download this Learning and Activity Guide, brought to you by the Government of Canada. It’s filled with stories, kid-friendly information about Indigenous history, hands-on educational games, quizzes and more to keep the whole family engaged in the learning experience.
Stay tuned for more exciting information about how you and your children can learn about the Indigenous experience and equity and inclusion, through the lens of sport.