June 21st is National Indigenous Peoples Day

Promoting Unity: Honouring Indigenous Heritage and Culture

National Indigenous Peoples Day – Source: canada.ca

What is National Indigenous Peoples Day?
Every year, on June 21st, communities come together to recognize Canada’s First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people. These groups are acknowledged by the Canadian Constitution as Aboriginal peoples, also known as Indigenous peoples.[1] National Indigenous Peoples Day (NIPD) celebrates and honours Indigenous people’s cultures, traditions, spiritual beliefs, and contributions to Canada as a nation.

Source: www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca

The History
National Aboriginal Day (NAD) was announced in 1996 by the Governor General of Canada, Roméo LeBlanc, through the National Aboriginal Day Proclamation.[2] Cooperating with Indigenous organizations, the Government of Canada chose June 21st, the summer solstice, as NAD. For generations, many Indigenous peoples have celebrated their heritage and traditions on or around this day because the summer solstice is the longest day of the year.[3] Then, on June 21st, 2017, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the renaming of this day to NIPD.[4]

According the 2016 Census, more than 1.67 million people in Canada identify themselves as Aboriginal. Aboriginal peoples are the fastest growing population in Canada, increasing by 42.5% between 2006 and 2016. This also represents the youngest population in Canada, with about 44% being under the age of 25 in 2016.[5]

Kwakwaka’wakw Artist, Curtis Wilson – Designer of the Canadian Native Flag
Our story begins in 2014, when The Flag Shop President, Susan Braverman, met Curtis Wilson on Facebook. Curtis is the designer and creative genius behind the Canadian Native Flag. The meaning of the design is so beautiful, Susan knew immediately she could do something big to help share the flag with all of Canada, and beyond! Susan said, “National Indigenous Peoples Day is about creating opportunities to promote unity among all Canadians while honouring the Indigenous peoples of our country!” She added, “I can think of no better way to do this than to connect with celebrations in our communities, and proudly wave the Canadian Native Flag!”

Victoria Indigenous Cultural Festival – Source: indigenousbc.com

Find a National Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration Near You!
Canadians across the country will be celebrating and there are so many events and activities planned that we can’t possibly list them all! Here’s a sampling of what’s happening in communities across Canada:

Ottawa, ON
https://www.ottawasummersolstice.ca/

Victoria, BC
https://www.indigenousbc.com/victoria-indigenous-festival/

Winnipeg, MB and  Toronto, ON
http://indigenousdaylive.ca/

Whitehorse, YK
http://www.adakafestival.ca/

Iqaluit, NU
https://alianait.ca/

Indian Village at the Calgary Stampede – Source: calgarystampede.com

Calgary, AB
https://www.calgarystampede.com/stampede/attractions/indian-village

Inuvik, NT
https://www.gnaf.org/

Batoche, SK
https://backtobatochefestival.com/

Mani-Utenam, QC
http://innunikamu.ca/

Kamloops, BC
http://www.crazycrow.com/site/event/kamloopa-powwow/

Montreal, QC
http://www.presenceautochtone.ca/

Need Flags for Your Celebrations?
The Canadian Native Flag is manufactured by, and exclusive to, The Flag Shop. Take a closer look at the full range of Canadian Native Flag products, including motorcycle flags, paper stick flags, lapel pins, and even temporary tattoos!

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Happy National Indigenous Peoples Day!

[1] http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100013718/1100100013719
[2] http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/
[3] [4] [5] http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100013718/1100100013719