National Indigenous History Month is a dedicated period for all Canadians to recognize, celebrate and honour the diverse histories, cultures and contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in the country. June is a time to not only reflect on the past but also to actively engage in dialogue, allyship and support for Indigenous rights, self-determination and the preservation of cultural identities.
During National Indigenous History month, various events, activities and educational initiatives are organized to promote awareness, understanding and appreciation of Indigenous heritage. In this blog, we’ve compiled some of the activities taking place in cities in which MLT Aikins has office locations.
We encourage you, ahead of National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21, to engage in the journey of reconciliation through participation and reflection.
A Day of Indigenous Art Education – June 21, 12-10 p.m.
Celebrate National Indigenous History Month at WAG-Quamajuq, where you can engage in Indigenous art education and enjoy an evening of live music. Your admission grants you access to family-friendly workshops, guided exhibit tours that offer unique insights into the art and stories of Indigenous artists, ending with an unforgettable rooftop concert.
Guilt and decolonization: navigating emotions in the pursuit of action – June 15-18, workshops available at 10:30 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. each day
Join Ph.D. candidate Sierra McKinney in an enlightening experience of reflection, dialogue and empowerment at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. This workshop focuses on navigating emotional reactions when confronted with the impacts of colonization through exploring the stories and artifacts showcased in the museum’s galleries. Participants will be provided with a safe environment to share personal encounters with these difficult histories and explore ways to channel emotions into meaningful and positive actions.
Immerse yourself in a spectacular night of music in honor of Pride and National Indigenous History Month. Explore diverse musical genres, embrace cultural pride and enjoy an evening with some of Manitoba’s most talented Two-Spirit musicians. Hosted at the Saddlery on Market in downtown Winnipeg, capacity is limited – don’t forget to RSVP!
Deepen your understanding of the natural heritage cherished by Indigenous communities by visiting the Indigenous Garden at Air Canada Park, located at 345 Portage Avenue in the heart of downtown Winnipeg. The Garden is a captivating display of diverse Indigenous plants and materials, featuring informative signage designed to educate visitors as they delve into the significance of these plans in Indigenous life and culture.
Manitoban authors, businesses and organizations to support during National Indigenous History Month:
- Teekca’s Boutique Winnipeg
- Red Rebel Armour
- Feast Café Bistro
- Dreamcatcher Promotions
- Brownees Urban Bistro
Donate and connect:
The committee of the Rock Your Roots Walk of Reconciliation have curated a comprehensive map showcasing key locations in Saskatoon that symbolize the journey of reconciliation that can be explored at your own pace. The map highlights public art installations, historically significant sites, renaming initiatives, and remarkable examples of Indigenous and non-Indigenous collaborations. The map and accompanying informational booklet can be accessed on the City of Saskatoon website.
Discover the power of reading and embrace the journey of reconciliation by accessing a wealth of resources and programs available through your local Saskatoon Public Library. Stop by the Reconciliation Reading Room at Frances Morrison Central Library (311 23rd St E) and explore more than 1,200 carefully curated books covering diverse topics such as Canada’s history of residential schools, Indigenous literature, nonfiction and poetry.
Wanuskewin Heritage Park hosts daily drop-in programs throughout the month of June to advance understanding and appreciation of the Northern Plains Indigenous peoples, past and present. Their world-class programming includes interactive exhibits, Indigenous art exhibitions, public tours and programs, interpretive trails and groundbreaking work in archaeology. Visit their website for a detailed daily agenda for the month of June.
Storied Objects: Métis Art in Relation – exhibition runs until July 2, 2023
Discover the profound connections between Métis artists and their ancestral traditions at Remai Modern. From intricate beadwork to vibrant paintings, this exhibition showcases the diverse mediums and styles embraced by Métis artists, creating a tapestry of creativity that honors their heritage while embracing contemporary perspectives.
SGI Solstice Speaker Series: Indigenous Insights and Lifestyle – June 15, 7-8:30 p.m.
Witness mesmerizing performances by award-winning powwow dancers and delve into the fascinating history, origins, and steep competition of the powwow tradition at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum. Hosted by renowned powwow dancer Preston Littletent, this event aims to highlight the rich voices, diverse experiences and shared history of Indigenous communities.
The Regina Public Library Dunlop Art Gallery proudly represents Indigenous art, featuring permanent or long-term works by four prominent Indigenous artists. Explore thought-provoking and educational installations by artists Jaime Black, Daphne Boyer, Jeffery Veregge and David Garneau at various library branches across Regina.
Saskatchewanian authors, businesses and organizations to support during National Indigenous History Month
- Five Little Indians by Michelle Good
- The Red Files by Lisa-Bird Wilson
- Smudging Spaces with Aaron Tootoosis
Support: the Indigenous Business Directory focuses on Indigenous-owned businesses and allows for businesses to set up a profile and provide additional information such as locations, services offered, contact details and more.
Donate and connect:
- ProMetals Every Child Matters
- Aboriginal Friendship Centers of Saskatchewan
- Saskatchewan Indigenous Cultural Center
- Sâkêwêwak Artists’ Collective
Calgary libraries offer a wealth of resources aimed at deepening your understanding of the true history of Indigenous peoples. Join the Calgary Public Library as they host a series of events throughout June that celebrate and honor our shared history. Enriching activities include Elders storytelling, jigging lessons, dreamcatcher making and more.
Celebrate the spirit of Aboriginal Awareness Week Calgary 2023 with the theme “Keeping the Circle Strong- Honoring Mother Earth and Water”. This theme showcases the deep pride our First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities hold for their rich heritage, traditions, and cultures as they embrace the vital role of being caretakers of Mother Earth and water, the source of life itself. Join the AAWC in this joyous celebration and take a moment to reflect on how we can lead lives that inspire and nurture the well-being of future generations.
4 Winds Showcase & Indigenous Market – June 6-8, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Join 4 Winds at their annual showcase & market at Bow Valley Square to celebrate National Indigenous History Month and engage in 4 Winds’ mission to create meaningful connections between the Indigenous community and the greater urban community. The market will feature an Indigenous art marketplace, live acoustic entertainment, an Indigenous fashion show and a traditional powwow.
Buffalo Chats with the Women’s Centre of Calgary – June 21, 5-7 p.m.
Embracing the essence of Reconciliation, join the Women’s Centre of Calgary for a circle conversation centered around strength and resilience, specifically focusing on the experiences of Indigenous women. Guided by community builders Cathy Lynn and Gabrielle Weaselhead, this event offers a unique opportunity for learning, fostering connections and furthering the reconciliation journey.
Take a Talking Rock Tour
Experience the geologic wonders of Alberta and immerse yourself in the Indigenous stories of the past. Talking Rock Tours provides interactive experiences that reveal the history of the land lead by a Métis guide and geologist who combines his culture and knowledge of geology.
Indigenous Music Showcase Event – June 10, 6-9 p.m.
Join MacEwan University for a captivating evening celebrating talented Indigenous musicians from across Canada and the U.S. From traditional to contemporary sounds, immerse yourself in song and storytelling that represents the rich cultural heritage of Indigenous communities. Admission is free, however seats are limited, so arrive early!
Mill Woods Wahkohtowin Night – June 15, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Presented by Mill Woods First Nations, Métis and Inuit Interagency Group, join the celebration of Indigenous cultures, learn new skills, and strengthen the community. Head to Jackie Parker Park and enjoy supper, Indigenous games and a fun cultural program.
Albertan authors, businesses and organizations to support during National Indigenous History Month
- This Wound is a World by Billy-Ray Belcourt
- Disinherited Generations: Our Struggle to Reclaim Treaty Rights for First Nations Women and their Descendants by Nellie Carlson, Kathleen Steinhauer, Linda Goyette and Maria Campbell
Donate and connect:
Towards Reconciliation: Start your Learning Journey – June 14, 2-3:30 p.m.
Join Vancouver Public Library for a virtual session which aims to educate on introductory topics such as land acknowledgements, Truth and Reconciliation, common terminology, recent changes like UNDRIP, art and architecture. Hosted over Zoom, the event will feature a live Q&A session supplemented by library staff who will be able to provide access to further learning resources.
Honouring our Fathers, Grandfathers and Sons Pow Wow – June 16-18, various times
Join the Vancouver Aboriginal Health Society at Britannia Community Services Centre for a traditional powwow to honor the strength and resilience of the men in our lives, while supporting healing through culture, community and coming together. Check out traditional drum groups, enjoy traditional food and celebrate sacred fatherhood.
Join Ta Síiy̓uxwa tl’a Sḵwx̱wú7meshulh (The Elders of the Squamish People) for a morning or afternoon of storytelling. The sessions will begin with a blessing offered by a Squamish Elder, followed by a Squamish Elder sharing stories from their life and culture, ending with an opportunity for questions. The sessions are part of a series taking place at various locations across Squamish and West Vancouver.
British Columbian authors, businesses and organizations to support during National Indigenous History Month
Support: BC Marketplace has a catalogue of Indigenous-owned businesses throughout British Columbia
Donate and connect:
- Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society
- Aboriginal Front Door Society
- Vancouver Native Housing Society
- First Nations Health Authority
Photo associated with this post: Josh Bear photographed by Bert Crowfoot
Note: MLT Aikins has compiled and provided this data for informational purposes only; this post should not be considered as advertising or an indication that the firm is representing these businesses or organizations. Event information may change; please see the event websites for the most up-to-date information.