National Aboriginal Day - or, as we call it, National Indigenous Peoples Day - is fast approaching.
Many of the events take place on June 21, which this year falls on a Wednesday. Since National Indigenous Peoples Day is not a statutory holiday, many of us will not have the day off work or school to celebrate. Last year, Animikii published an article and video about why we think National Indigenous Peoples Day should be a statutory holiday.
Since then, MP Robert Falcon-Ouellette has presented a petition to the House of Commons on May 18, 2017 to make National Indigenous Peoples Day a statutory holiday across Canada - not just in the Northwest Territories and Yukon. We’ll keep you posted on the status of the petition. National Indigenous Peoples Day could be a stat holiday one day soon!
At Animikii, we treat National Indigenous Peoples Day like a statutory holiday - as it is in the Northwest Territories and the Yukon - so that our employees can go out to attend community events that recognize and honour Indigenous Peoples contributions, history, and culture. If you're on Vancouver Island like us, we’ve compiled a map of events going on to help you decide how you’re going to celebrate.
Do I Have to Attend the Community Events to Participate in National Indigenous Peoples Day?
Of course not! If you are unable to attend the National Aboriginal - ahem, Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations in your community, we’ve compiled a list of things you can do on your own or with your family to mark the day.
- Research on whose traditional territory your home or work is located, and - if you don’t do it already - make an effort to acknowledge that territory by sharing to Facebook or Twitter.
- Support a local Indigenous artist in your area by purchasing or sharing their art.
- Take a few minutes to read the 94 Calls to Action and think about how you as and individual can adhere to these Calls.
- Read the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
- Add an Indigenous made and produced podcast to your podcast library. Some suggestions include Indigenous Innovators, Red Man Laughing, Media Indigena, and Stories from the Land.
- If you're looking for some summer reading, try taking the TRC Reading Challenge. There is no deadline and over 3000 people have already pledged to read the report, which is available in print, pdf, or audio book.
- Call your local Friendship Centre or nearest Indigenous Nation and ask if they need any volunteers or donations for programs or events. This is a great way to support and reach out to your local Indigenous community!
It’s also important to note that the things listed here are not exclusive to National Indigenous Peoples Day. They are things you can do every day to support and acknowledge the Indigenous Peoples in this country and around the world.
Article published June 9, 2017.
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