June 21 is National Aboriginal Day
Celebrations to commemorate National Aboriginal Day are held annually on June 21. This day honours the unique heritage, diverse cultures, outstanding achievements and contributions of Canada's First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples.
Canada's Governor General officially proclaimed the first National Aboriginal Day in 1996. June 21 was selected because of its cultural significance as the summer solstice. It is also a time when many Aboriginal groups traditionally pay homage to their heritage. National Aboriginal Day is celebrated across the country, but is only declared a statutory holiday in the Northwest Territories. Below are some of the activities and events that normally take place to commemorate the day:
- Summer solstice festivals
- Barbecue fundraisers
- Social networking gatherings with traditional and contemporary music, dance and singing
- Sacred fire extinguishing ceremonies
- Traditional feasts, which may include fry bread and moose stew
- The cutting of a cake to honour National Aboriginal Day
This day is also an opportunity for OPSEU to express solidarity with Aboriginal peoples. OPSEU members from every region in the province are encouraged to celebrate National Aboriginal Day by participating in events that celebrate the achievements Aboriginal peoples have made throughout history.
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