Indigenous Peoples in Canada are celebrating Aboriginal Awareness month all throughout June and using the designation to draw attention to what their cultures have to offer the nation.
“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 AFN Regional Chief for Quebec-Labrador Ghislain Picard in a statement on June 2. “This month, let’s join together to celebrate Indigenous cultures, languages and traditions as well as the many contributions of Indigenous peoples in making this country what it is today. By understanding and honoring 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.”
The AFN National Executive Committee is hoping that First Nations and all Canadians participate in cultural events and other celebrations honoring National Aboriginal Awareness Month, and especially on National Aboriginal Day, June 21, corresponding with the summer solstice.
“National Aboriginal History Month provides an opportunity to recognize not only the historic contributions of Aboriginal peoples to the development of Canada, but also the strength of present-day Aboriginal communities and their promise for the future,” says the website of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. “Celebrating National Aboriginal History Month in June is an important tribute to the heritage and diversity of First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities across Canada.”
And as usual, the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) has a full slate of events, concerts and other celebrations planned for June 21.
Many organizations and institutions around the country are holding events. For example, the website Aboriginal Arts & Stories is holding a competition for art created by youth.
“AFN encourages all Canadians to learn more about Indigenous Peoples, cultures and rights by taking part in events this month,” the group said in a statement.