June is National Aboriginal Awareness Month in Canada

First Nations, Metis, Inuit, urban Aboriginal and all Canadians are encouraged to take part in cultural events and other celebrations in honour of National Aboriginal Awareness Month held every June and National Aboriginal Day on June 21.

“National Aboriginal Awareness Month gives First Nations and all Canadians an opportunity to commit to a new understanding and a new relationship grounded in our past and history, and with a keen eye on the future, which must include educating ourselves about First Nations rights and Treaties as a foundation for positive change for all of us,” said Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief for Quebec-Labrador Ghislain Picard.  “This month, let’s join together to celebrate Indigenous cultures,

Art by Roger Noskiye, Wabasca AB

Art by Roger Noskiye, Wabasca AB

languages and traditions as well as the many contributions of Indigenous peoples in making this country what it is today.  By understanding and honouring our rights and responsibilities to one another we can ensure a future where Indigenous peoples, languages, cultures and Nations are a strong and vibrant part of this land we call home.”

National Aboriginal Awareness Month is recognized by the federal government every June in an effort to celebrate the contributions of Indigenous peoples in Canada.  The notion of a national holiday celebrating the contributions of Indigenous peoples in Canada was called for by AFN in 1982.  A day already known by many as National Aboriginal Solidarity Day was formally recognized by the federal government as National Aboriginal Day in 1996.   In 2013, Chiefs-in-Assembly passed a resolution calling for the Government of Canada to declare June 21 a National Holiday known as Indigenous Peoples Day.

The term “Aboriginal” refers to the three distinct Indigenous peoples in Canada – First Nations, Métis and Inuit.  In connection with the summer solstice, special events and gatherings take place across the country celebrating First Nation, Métis and Inuit contributions and accomplishments, cultures, traditions and languages.

“We urge all Canadians to learn more about Indigenous peoples, cultures and rights by taking part in events this month.”

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