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Celebrating National Indigenous History Month and National Indigenous Peoples Day

As June unfolds, Canada embarks on a month-long journey of reflection, celebration, and education in recognition of National Indigenous History Month. This annual observance is a tribute to the rich cultures, enduring traditions, and profound experiences of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. It is a time to honor their stories, achievements, and the remarkable resilience they have demonstrated over millennia.

National Indigenous History Month is divided into weekly themes, each dedicated to exploring different facets of Indigenous history, culture, and perspectives. This structured approach allows Canadians to delve deeper into the diverse and complex heritage of Indigenous communities.

Weekly Themes for 2024:

June 1 to 9: Environment, Traditional Knowledge, and Territory

June 10 to 16: Children and Youth

June 17 to 23: Languages, Cultures, and Arts

June 24 to 30: Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQI+ People

Click here to explore learning resources related to each of the weekly themes from the Government of Canada website.

Click here for more information on National Indigenous History Month; National Indigenous Peoples Day; and how St. Clair Catholic students and staff embrace Indigenous culture.

National Indigenous Peoples Day: June 21

Amidst the month-long celebrations, June 21 holds special significance as National Indigenous Peoples Day. This date, aligned with the summer solstice, has been a time for many Indigenous groups and communities to honor their culture and heritage long before its official recognition. The summer solstice, being the longest day of the year, symbolizes a time of renewal and reflection, making it an ideal occasion for such celebrations.

On this day, and throughout the month, St. Clair Catholic students, staff, and families are encouraged to engage deeply with Indigenous cultures. This involves learning about the treaties, traditions, and the 94 Calls to Action outlined by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

St. Clair Catholic Schools are also invited to celebrate by attending “The Spirit Horse Returns,” an enthralling orchestral concert that seamlessly integrates North American Indigenous perspectives, striking visual art, and a rich orchestral score to narrate the compelling stories of the Ojibwe Horses playing at the Capitol Theatre in Chatham.

This production is a collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous creators, featuring Anishinaabe artist and Ojibwe Horse breed expert Rhonda Snow, songwriter Jodi Contin (Wasauksing First Nation), composers Kevin Lau (a first-generation Canadian) and Andrew Balfour (of Cree descent), writer and performer Ken MacDonald (an eleventh-generation settler), and musicians from the London Symphonia.

As we celebrate National Indigenous History Month and National Indigenous Peoples Day, let us commit to continuous learning and genuine reconciliation. Through understanding and respect, we can all contribute to a more equitable and harmonious Canada.