National Indigenous Peoples Day

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National Indigenous Peoples Day

June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day, falling on the Summer Solstice (the longest day of the year), in National Indigenous History Month.

This is a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First NationsInuit and Métis peoples.

Here in York Region and South Simcoe, we acknowledge the traditional land owners, the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples and that this community is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

Although these groups share many similarities, they each have their own distinct heritage, language, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs.

Today in Canada, we are coming to grips with the turbulent and frequently unjust history that has existed between Indigenous peoples and European settlers. Many have adopted the current Black Lives Matter protests to highlight ongoing inequalities faced by Indigenous communities, including inadequate access to fresh water and poor educational and healthcare opportunities. Mental health is of course a key concern in many indigenous communities, and we stand by those calling for improved access to care and for systemic causes of poor health to be addressed.

We are proud to work alongside our partners BANAC to improve care for Indigenous members of our community, and we will continue to look for options to directly address the mental health concerns of this population.

We wish everyone a very happy National Indigenous Peoples Day, as we celebrate the rich and varied cultures of Aboriginal communities across Canada and look forward with optimism to a future where all Canadians share equally in the many opportunities that our society affords.

Readings and Resources

Truth & Reconciliation Book Club with Pam Palmater

14 Books to Read for Indigenous People’s Month

Books, activities and games for kids to learn more about Aboriginal cultures and history

Ted Talk: Breaking the Silence Surrounding Canada’s Indigenous Crisis

An Introduction to Aboriginal Studies: A helpful overview for students or those who may not yet be familiar with the different names, cultures and traditions of Aboriginal communities in Canada.

4Rs Youth Movement: An organization dedicated to changing the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous young people.

Culture for Life: A site for Indigenous youth who want to learn more about their culture

We Matter: A place for Indigenous youth to find support to get through hard times

National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health: Maintaining the Health and Well-Being of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Children and Teens Through COVID-19

Government of Canada: Mental Health and Wellness in First Nations and Inuit Communities

Government of Canada: Jordan’s Principle

CMHA British Columbia: Indigenous Mental Health Promotion-Recommended Resources

Native Women’s Association of Canada: COVID-19 Resources

Network for Aboriginal Mental Health Services: Programs in Canada

Native Women’s Association of Canada and Canadian Institutes of Health Research: Mental Wellness PDF