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National Indigenous History Month

The month of June is also National Indigenous History Month, a month meant to honour the rich history, heritage, resilience and diversity of Indigenous communities.

National Indigenous Peoples Day is Tuesday, June 21. That date, the first day of summer, has been chosen as a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the many achievements, distinct cultures and unique traditions of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada.

As we continue to learn about, celebrate and start an allyship journey with Indigenous peoples and communities throughout Canada, we need to share this understanding with others.

In the spirit of National Indigenous History Month, here are some valuable resources to learn about and celebrate Indigenous culture and to commit to being an ally for Indigenous Peoples.

Know whose land you are on. If you are non-Indigenous, you are occupying land that is being colonized. You are a settler. To have a greater understanding of the land’s original caregivers and history, visit Whose Land, an educational a tool and interactive map. It is useful for understanding Indigenous treaties and communities across Canada. The Canadian Association of University Teachers also has a Guide to Acknowledging First Peoples and Traditional Territory.

Be culturally sensitive. This is past and present trauma. It’s important to be sensitive when posting, sharing or discussing content that could be triggering and upsetting to people.

Celebrate Indigenous People in Canada with this learning and activity guide.

Learn some Indigenous recipes. Make delicious Bannock (fried bread) to share with loved ones.

Know the protocol. Take time to understand the protocols before going to powwows or a ceremony, through research or by asking a volunteer or worker once you’ve arrived. Read A Guide to Taking Your Family To A Powwow for The First Time.

Understand and practice what allyship to Indigenous people. An outline of allyship and responsibilities by an Anishinaabe-kew scholar can be found in the Ally Bill of Responsibilities.

Support Indigenous businesses and services. There are many Indigenous businesses and services that would benefit from non-Indigenous customers, and shopping with them can be a great way to support Indigenous people. Visit the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Businesses to find an Indigenous business near you.

Connect with your local friendship centre. Relationship building with your local friendship centre can support your allyship journey, build knowledge of nearby Indigenous communities and support reconciliation.

Read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Call to Action Report. The TRC was a part of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement and had a mandate to document and prepare a comprehensive historical record on the policies and operations of the schools and produce a report that includes recommendations to the Government of Canada.