The Canadian Government unanimously declared June as Indigenous History Month in 2009 through a motion in the House of Commons. The month, which includes National Indigenous Peoples Day, is a perfect time to reflect upon the long relationship between the many different Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island and Canadians throughout history. For students, families, and teachers, it is a good time to become better acquainted with the different First Peoples who share this land with us.
There are many celebrations that happen across the GTA to mark the month, that people can take advantage of. Aurora is holding its New Beginnings Pow Wow on June 1 at Lambert Willson Park - 135 Industrial Parkway North. The celebration is open to all and is a wonderful opportunity for people to take in traditional dancing, drumming, and food. Later in the month, NaMeRes will be holding its traditional Pow Wow at Fort York on June 22. Again it is a wonderful opportunity for families to be part of a celebration that includes the many Indigenous cultures who reside here.
There is a good selection of resources on the Government of Canada website to help families who want to learn more about Indigenous histories, and the treaties that are available throughout the year. The First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education Association of Ontario website also has a significant amount of materials to help people learn from authentic Indigenous voices.
This year is a good one for discussions around Indigenous languages. The United Nations declared that 2019 is the year of Indigenous Languages. At the same time, Parliament is currently working on a new bill to protect and promote Indigenous languages in Canada.
Finally, there is a wide selection of materials widely available on the internet to support you in learning more about the many First Peoples and cultures who share these lands.