June 21 – the day of the summer solstice – is a day to honour, respect and celebrate the myriad cultures, traditions and unique lives and experiences of Indigenous people in Canada – First Nations, Métis and Inuit.
From time immemorial, Indigenous people have lived as people everywhere in the world have lived – as distinct peoples within their own recognized territories with their own governance systems, legal traditions and treaty relationships with other Indigenous nations – just as virtually every other country in the world has done and continues to do with their neighbours.
Indigenous people are no different.
Except that for over a hundred plus years Indigenous culture was forced to go underground due to the Indian Act and government policies designed to obliterate the cohesive practices embedded in language and culture.
Culture is what people in every nation on earth use to celebrate themselves and who they are in the world – their own unique contribution to the ongoing human saga of what it means to be alive and how we relate to ourselves, to each other and most important – to our world – what defines us as a people.
The exploration of cultures is what brings people together in tangibly demonstrating that in our hearts, we are all the same. We all want to celebrate life, family and community in ways that make us feel good while at the same time opening the eyes of others to the intrinsic value of the culture that sets us apart.
National Indigenous Peoples Day is our day to show you what sets us apart and also our invitation to you to step into our world and enjoy what you see and experience.
The first National Aboriginal Day was celebrated in 1996: 129 years after Confederation and the same year the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples issued their Final Report with its 440 recommendations.
The 440 recommendations were mostly shelved and forgotten. The 94 Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada will not be. Indigenous Watchdog is committed to monitor and report on who’s doing what to advance reconciliation and who isn’t.
In addition to the daily updates, Indigenous Watchdog also includes two sections that may be of interest:
- Indigenous Success Stories: Individuals and organizations who are making a positive impact in any of the 30 Themes that Indigenous Watchdog tracks and reports on
- Indigenous Cultural Success: Examples of Indigenous cultural successes from across Canada celebrating Indigenous life
Douglas Sinclair, Publisher, Indigenous Watchdog