National Aboriginal Day is a day recognising and celebrating the cultures and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Indigenous peoples in Canada.
The day was first celebrated in 1996, after it was proclaimed that year by then Governor General of Canada Roméo LeBlanc, to be celebrated on 21 June annually.
21 June was chosen as the statutory holiday for many reasons-including its cultural significance as the Summer solstice, and the fact that it is a day on which many Aboriginal groups traditionally celebrate their heritage.
On 21 June 2017, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released a statement pledging to rename the event National Indigenous People’s Day.
Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde supported the proposed change, called it an “important step,” citing the terminology used in the landmark United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
National Indigenous People’s Day Quotes/Messages
“Yet there are thousands of Indigenous people searching for family members.” » Malcolm Fraser
“I was shocked when I moved to Sydney how very few indigenous people I came across. And so when I go to places like Maroubra or Redfern or Waterloo or Erskineville, I feel more at home because of the people I’m around – anywhere I can see a face that reflects someone that looks like my family, I feel much more at home.” » Shari Sebbens
“I’d like to talk about free markets. Information in the computer age is the last genuine free market left on earth except those free markets where indigenous people are still surviving. And that’s basically becoming limited.” » Russell Means
“I support the indigenous people anywhere in the planet.” » Edward James Olmos
“I think the relationship of indigenous people to their environment… that those were ethical omnivores.” » James Cromwell
“Throughout the world today there is a growing awareness of the failings of the Western model of development and a corresponding desire to look for more human-scale, ecological ways of living. If Ladakh now succeeds in creating for itself a future which retains the foundations of its traditional past, it will be an inspiring example of how all the various elements of an ecological future fit together.” » Helena Norberg-Hodge
“Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinct political, economic, social and cultural characteristics, as well as their legal systems, while retaining their rights to participate fully, if they so choose, in the political, economic, social and cultural life of the State.” » From Draft Universal Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (1993)
“The most important thing is the indigenous people are not vindictive by nature. We are not here to oppress anybody – but to join together and build Bolivia, with justice and equality.” » Evo Morales
“All definitions of wilderness that exclude people seem to me to be false. African ‘wilderness’ areas are racist because indigenous people are being cleared out of them so white people can go on holiday there.” » Jay Griffiths
“Since the beginning, Native Peoples lived a life of being in harmony with all that surrounds us. It is a belief that all humankind are related to each other. Each has a purpose, spirit and sacredness. It is an understanding with the Great Spirit or Creator that we will follow these ways. And in this understanding we believe we are related to all other living species.” » Dennis Banks
“We are all indigenous people on this planet, and we have to reorganize to get along.” » Rebecca Adamson
“All the issues that we face are connected. Worldwide, ecosystems are being destroyed, and indigenous peoples are losing their homelands and their entire way of life.” » Ocean Robbins
“Indigenous people have discovered that Christianity is not inherently Western but universal – ‘translatable’ into any cultural idiom.” » Nancy Pearcey
“One of the things my parents taught me, and I’ll always be grateful for the gift, is to not ever let anybody else define me.” » Wilma Mankiller