Every June, we recognize National Indigenous History Month. It is a time to honour and celebrate the rich and diverse cultures, languages, and histories of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities across our province and the land we call Canada. More than ever, it is also an opportunity to learn more about the lands we live on, our history as a country, and the ways our knowledge and understanding can support reconciliation.
There are many events, learning opportunities, and resources available to support Ontarians’ learning and engagement this National Indigenous History Month. Here are just a few ways you can learn, honour, and celebrate this month:
- This year, National Indigenous History Month includes weekly themes to highlight specific aspects of Indigenous history, cultures, and perspectives. They are women, girls, and 2SLGTBQI+ people; environment, traditional knowledge and territory; children and youth; language, cultures, and arts; and reconciliation. Find out more here.
- Read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action and the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Calls for Justice.
- Learn about the history of the land you live on, including the cultural traditions and customs, languages, and treaties. Share this information with your family, neighbours, and colleagues. Some helpful resources include native-land.ca and land/en, or sign up for the University of Alberta’s free Indigenous Canada course. It is available through Coursera and can be done at your own pace.
- Listen to traditional Indigenous creation stories, told in six Indigenous languages, as well as English and French.
- Read a book by a First Nations, Inuit, or Métis author. CBC has compiled a list of 35 books to read and Indigo has a similar list, though we encourage you to buy from an Indigenous bookstore, like Barely Bruised Books or GoodMinds, if possible.
- Watch a movie or documentary by an Indigenous filmmaker. CBC has a list of 12 documentaries available for free on CBC Gem or visit the National Film Board of Canada for a rich selection of Indigenous stories.
- Listen to a podcast about Indigenous history and identity, like This Place, Kiwew, Thunder Bay (also now a docuseries on Crave), or Stolen (which recently won a Pulitzer Prize and a Peabody Award!).
- Follow First Nations, Inuit, and Métis creators on whatever social media platforms you’re on. Elle Canada, Global Citizen, and The Influence Agency have compiled lists of artists and activists who are using their channels to share their culture, customs, language, history, and experiences.
- Support First Nations, Inuit, and Métis musicians. Spotify has created a space for Canadian Indigenous music creators here (curated by Mohawk singer-songwriter Logan Staats) or Indigenous Music has a whole catalogue here.
- Find Indigenous art, including beadwork, knitting, ceramics, and weaving through the Indigenous Arts Collective of Canada or Etsy Canada.
- Find ways to support local Indigenous organizations and individuals with your resources, such as your time, voice, and/or financial contributions.
- Engage in thoughtful conversations with family and friends about Indigenous history and ways of knowing.