National Indigenous Peoples Day
June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day
June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day, a day for all Canadians to both recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. Every nation and community, as well as each individual connected to them, has their own complex history and unique stories that challenge the misconception of a monolithic Indigenous identity.
June 21 is also the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, and has great cultural significance to Indigenous Peoples. For many generations, Indigenous Peoples and communities across Turtle Island hold ceremonies to honour and celebrate their culture and heritage on or near this day.
How to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day
- Utilize this time for self-education and reflection. The Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching has highlighted a number of Indigenous teachings on their Indigenous Education page. Learn about the significance of strawberries and the strawberry moon, water, buffalo, cedar tree and more.
- Non-Indigenous participants are welcome and encouraged to attend (google sheet) community events happening in their areas (external link) .
- Visit external resources such as the Government of Canada’s National Indigenous History Month page (external link) .
- Support community-based healing and remembrance by donating to small grants through the Na-mi-quai-ni-mak Community Support Fund (external link) .
- Support Indigenous initiatives across the campus by attending events, sharing event details with your networks, and sharing links that highlight their work.
This event is organized by the National Indigenous Peoples Day organizing committee
This year’s events are organized by a collective of Indigenous and non-Indigenous colleagues, led by Crystal Osawamick, Manager of Indigenous Events & Special Projects and Ryan Kerr, Events and Communications Specialist in the Ceremonials Office. The collective includes staff from the Office of Indigeous Initiatives, Indigenous Education Council, Indigenous Student Services, the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, TMU Libraries, School of Early Childhood Studies, Office of the Provost, Career, Co-op and Student Success, and Student Life and Learning Support.
Watch the 2021 opening ceremony
On June 21, 2021, the university community came together for the opening of National Indigenous Peoples Day 2021. Following opening remarks, Elder Joanne Okimawininew Dallaire and Amy Desjarlais Waabishka Kakaki Zhaawshko Shkeezhgokwe (White Raven Woman with Turquoise Eyes) shared teachings about the significance of the day and the summer solstice. Curtis Maloley (Educational Developer, Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching) also shared resources for self-guided learning so you can participate in truth and reconciliation.