National Indigenous Peoples Day

Posted June 21st 2020

Today, we celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day, held each year on June 21. With that celebration comes much reflection and recognition on the work that remains.

It’s been 5 years since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released its final report, and one year since the National Inquiry into MMIWG released its final report. These reports encompass powerful truth-telling around the experiences and history of Indigenous Peoples in this country. It’s very clear that we need to honour the Calls to Action set out by the TRC and the Calls for Justice from the National Inquiry.

With that in mind, we encourage everyone to take action, learn, and celebrate. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. Read the TRC’s Calls to Action, and their reports here. The Spirit Bear version in child-friendly language can be found here.

2. Read a book to learn more! Consider this #IndigenousReads list or this list compiled by the CBC.

3. Spend the day learning about the Indigenous history where you live and work. Explore the permanent Truth & Reconciliation exhibit at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, or learn more about the Métis community.

4. Watch the Summer Solstice Concert 2020, a special event in celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day, hosted by APTN.

5. Take supportive action with these ideas from the First Nation Caring Society:

  • Plant a heart garden in memory of children lost to the residential school system, to honour residential school survivors and their families, and support the legacy of the TRC. The act of planting represents our commitment to reconciliation.

  • Involve your children in some learning activities under “How Can I Get Started”.

  • Join an event or sign-up to support their campaigns.

Finally, consider learning more about the global movement around Indigenous Peoples and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and how the empowerment, education and engagement of the global Indigenous community is specified within the SDG framework.

We are grateful to do the work we do from the heart of Treaty 1 territory, and we encourage everyone to honour Indigenous stories and experiences, while taking concrete actions in line with the TRC’s calls to action moving forward. As always, our global vision for ‘A Just World’ includes taking action in solidarity at home.