Today marks National Indigenous Peoples Day, when we celebrate the heritage, diverse cultures, and achievements of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. This day was chosen as it is a day on which many Indigenous peoples traditionally celebrate community, heritage, and the cultural significance of the summer solstice—the longest day of the year.
June 21 offers an opportunity for people of all backgrounds to celebrate the important contributions of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. The Canadian Constitution recognizes these groups as Aboriginal peoples, also known as Indigenous peoples, and it is important to underline that each of these groups have their own distinct languages, cultural practices, and spiritual beliefs.
Located in Epekwitk, home of the Abegweit and Lennox Island First Nations, Confederation Centre of the Arts is celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day as we move through a period of institutional transformation. This transformation includes learning, listening, and taking action to recognize the truth of our shared history, dismantling the colonial identity of the Centre, and working toward reconciliation by responding to the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We are rebuilding the Centre on principles of inclusivity, anti-racism, and decolonization to become a place of learning and intercultural understanding. We are proud to move forward together in the spirit of truth and reconciliation and continue the ongoing conversation of an evolving Canada.
Later this week, we will be announcing details around a new Community Partnership Program, which includes an important partnership with L’nuey – a Mi’kmaq Rights-based organization focused on protecting the constitutionally-entrenched rights of the PEI Mi’kmaq. In the months to come, we look forward to announcing further details of the collaboration with L’nuey as well as continued programs that feature Indigenous art and storytelling.
On this day, we encourage all Canadians to learn more about National Indigenous History Month and to celebrate these vibrant communities and diverse cultures.
Photo: Mi’kmaq Heritage Actors performing at Skmaqn-Port Lajoie in 2020 (Postcards from the Island). See the episode in full here: https://youtu.be/eBMSlDt8e60