National Indigenous Peoples Day is celebrated on the summer solstice, June 21st. Announced in 1996 by then Governor General of Canada Romeo LeBlanc, the day was the result of consultations and statements of support made by various Indigenous groups. The date was chosen in light of the fact that many Indigenous peoples and communities have traditionally celebrated their culture and heritage on or near the summer solstice–the longest day of the year.
This day is an opportunity for Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. The Canadian Constitution recognizes these three groups as Aboriginal peoples, also known as Indigenous peoples, but it is important to know that each of these groups have their own distinct heritage, language, cultural practices, and spiritual beliefs.
Note: Some of the following ideas and suggestions for discussion originate from the resource “Celebrating Indigenous Peoples in Canada: Learning and activity guide” on the Government of Canada website: https://www.rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca/eng/1528210353182/1580759773150
Consult sites such as those listed below for resources and ideas that you can select as discussion points or full activities with your class. Please review them and decide which topics or activities would be most effective for your students.