What is National Aboriginal Day?
June 21 is National Aboriginal Day in Canada. This is a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.
Today, SWIFT joins communities and organizations across Canada today in recognizing and celebrating the important contributions that Indigenous peoples, their cultures and traditions have made, and continue to make, to our region and Canada. In particular, SWIFT would like to highlight some unique Indigenous connectivity projects happening across Ontario and Canada, celebrate the contributions of Indigenous leaders to our project, and share more about our journey as we work to engage First Nations in SWIFT as we build ‘broadband for everyone’. We’ll be posting throughout the day and welcome you to visit the blog throughout the day to read more. Celebrating, recognizing, and supporting Indigenous communities and culture is one of many steps on our journey of reconciliation, healing and connecting as a country as we reflect on our past and look toward our future. Our efforts to recognize and celebrate Indigenous leadership and connectivity projects reflects our commitment at SWIFT to work with Indigenous partners to help support a better future for everyone in the region.
Also, if you’d like to tune into National Aboriginal Day celebrations virtually, Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) is hosting Aboriginal Day Live 2017. On June 21, APTN is hosting a gathering and celebration of Indigenous cultures in eight cities across the country, including Ottawa and Toronto, where people can enjoy activities and a free concert in person or through a live seven-hour TV broadcast, participating radio stations and online.
To follow along on social media, use the hashtag #NADCanada.
What led to the creation of National Aboriginal Day?*
In cooperation with Indigenous organizations, the Government of Canada chose June 21, the summer solstice, for National Aboriginal Day. For generations, many Indigenous 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.
National Aboriginal Day was announced in 1996 by then Governor General of Canada, Roméo LeBlanc, through the Proclamation Declaring June 21 of Each Year as National Aboriginal Day. National Aboriginal Day was the result of consultations and statements of support for such a day made by various Indigenous groups.
- in 1995, the Sacred Assembly, a national conference of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people chaired by Elijah Harper, called for a national holiday to celebrate the contributions of Indigenous Peoples
- also in 1995, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples recommended the designation of a National First Peoples Day
- in 1982, the National Indian Brotherhood (now the Assembly of First Nations) called for the creation of National Aboriginal Solidarity Day
*This information was originally written and shared by the Government of Canada. Click here to read the original information and full details about National Aboriginal Day from the Government of Canada.