Indigenous Celebrations

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On this page you will find resources to help you celebrate Indigenous Awareness Week (IAW), National Indigenous History Month (NIHM) and National Indigenous Peoples Day (NIPD).

Watch, read, and listen to explore the rich and diverse cultures, voices, experiences and histories of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

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Note : Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada’s (CIRNAC) Communications team has collaborated with National Indigenous Organizations and other government departments to develope an internal toolkit which contains social media templates and other resources directed toward public servants, such as recommended courses, template messages and much more. The internal toolkit is an evergreen document that will be updated until June 21, 2021 and shares links to shareables that can be tailored to your Department’s needs and calls to action.

General information

Indigenous Awarness Week

IAW runs last week of May. While Indigenous awareness is a year-round initiative for Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) and Indigenous Services Canada (ISC), IAW is a unique opportunity for all public servants to celebrate Indigenous culture and histories.

Many activities are organized throughout the country by all departements and agencies of the Governement of Canada (GC). For the detailed schedule, visit the IAW wikipage.

National Indigenous History Month

In 2009, June was declared NIHM. It is a chance for all Canadians to learn more about the cultures and contributions made by the many distinct Indigenous Peoples in Canada. It is also an opportunity for Canadians to reflect on the historic and ongoing challenges for Indigenous communities.

Visit the GC NIHM internet page to learn more about the contributions of Indigenous peoples to Canada

National Indigenous People Day

June 21st is NIPD. Many First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and communities have celebrated their culture and heritage on or near this day due to the significance of the summer solstice as the longest day of the year.

In cooperation with Indigenous organizations, the GC choose June 21st  the summer solstice, for National Aboriginal Day, now known as NIPD. This day has been observed for the last 25 years across Canada and 26 years in Alberta.

You can find suggested events to help you celebrate this special day on the GC NIPD internet page.

Celebrate through watching

Be inspired by conversation, history and culture through creative visual storytelling.

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Movies, series and documentaries

GC Resources

  • A video catalogue from Veterans Affairs Canada that showcase First Nations, Inuit and Métis involvement in major Canadian conflicts: People and Stories - Indigenous Peoples
  • This series by Environment and Climate Change Canada highlights Indigenous peoples and Indigenous-led environmental practices: Indigenous Voices on Climate Change
  • Explore Historica Canada’s collection of bilingual “Indigenous History” 60-second short films, each depicting a significant person, event or story : Heritage Minutes

Celebrate through reading

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About Indigenous Reads (IR)

Through #IndigenousReads, the GC is encouraging reconciliation by increasing Canadians' understanding of Indigenous issues, cultures, and history from Indigenous authors, poets and writers.

#IndigenousReads may take different forms. It can include poetry, graphic novels, short stories, children's books or essays on Indigenous issues, cultures and history. The list is updated twice a year and is available one the IR page.

GC resources

GC offers many resources:

Celebrate through Listening

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Let your audio celebration begin by listening in to these audio suggestions:

  • The GC’s translation bureau has a catalogue of resources to broaden your knowledge and learning of First Nations, Inuit and Métis languages from all across Canada: Indigenous languages
  • Listen to traditional stories and creation stories told by First Nations, Inuit and Métis storytellers from communities across Canada collected by the Canadian Museum of History: Traditional stories and creation stories
  • Employment and Social Development Canada’s podcasts explore being Indigenous in the Public Service, what reconciliation is for individuals, and what it can be for Canada: Indigenous Perspectives: Stories from Indigenous Public Servants
  • Residential Schools is a three-part podcast series created by Historica Canada that aims to commemorate the history and legacy of residential schools: Residential Schools Podcast Series
  • Project Naming has provided a virtual space enabling First Nations, Inuit communities, and the Métis Nation to access Canada's historic photo collections and engage in the identification of people and locations - reconnecting with their history to share memories and stories rekindled by the photographs: Healing Journey: Project Naming at 15
  • Library and Archives Canada pay a visit to the Canadian Canoe Museum and get a behind-the-scenes tour of its incredible canoe collection: Canada’s Canoe Archive
  • Listen to First Nations, Inuit and Métis tell their histories: Let us tell the story: The Crooked Story (in French only)