June is National Indigenous History Month

Practice Point

June is National Indigenous History Month

June is National Indigenous History Month in Canada, an opportunity to learn about the unique cultures, traditions, and experiences of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis. It’s a time to honour the stories, achievements, and resilience of Indigenous Peoples, who have lived on this land since time immemorial and whose presence continues to impact the evolving Canada.

How to get involved

We encourage you to take some time to learn more about First Nations, Inuit, and Métis as well as our collective past. Here are a few ideas of how you can get involved and show your support.

Discover stories, traditions, and cultures

The best way to gain a deeper understanding of First Nations, Inuit and Métis experiences is through their own voices. Enjoy Indigenous storytelling by picking up a book, attending a show, watching a movie or listening to music from Indigenous artists.

You can also check out the GC Indigenous Instagram account to learn more about inspiring Indigenous women, 2SLGBTQ+ people, environmentalists, artists, activists, scientists and researchers.

For generations, many Indigenous communities have celebrated their culture on or near June 21, the summer solstice. Learn more About National Indigenous Peoples Day and how the tradition lives on.

Explore the past and honour the truth

Take the first steps on your educational journey:

Here is a good page from the W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council with information for settlers.

Here is a recording of one of our contributors talking about relationship-building:
Watch “Building Relationships: How to Approach First Nations
Presented by Aaron Bruce at CLEBC’s new program, “Indigenous Real Estate”
May 7, 2024.

Stephen Mussell’s receipt of the 2024 UBC Alumni Builders Award and keynote speech at UBC Law Indigenous Awareness Week (see also this summary description on Mandell Pinder’s website)

“I wanted to know it was reasonable for me to question everything I was learning. I wanted to know why everyone seemed to uncritically accept that Canada’s existence is premised on the inherent inferiority of Indigenous Peoples. I wanted to know why Indigenous Law, our laws and legal orders, were wholly ignored or just used as some interpretive aid for the law that actually mattered.” –  Stephen Mussell

CLEBC “In the Spotlight” featuring Stephen Mussell and
CLEBC “In the Spotlight” featuring Jean Teillet

Jean Teillet’s tour de force Métis history book The North West is Our Mother—this CBC page introduces the book and links to numerous interviews with Jean Teillet

“The Métis Nation didn’t just drift slowly into the Canadian consciousness in the early 1800s; it burst onto the scene fully formed. The Métis were flamboyant, defiant, loud, and definitely not noble savages. They were nomads with a very different way of being in the world — always on the move, very much in the moment, passionate and fierce. They were romantics and visionaries with big dreams. They battled continuously — for recognition, for their lands and for their rights and freedoms. In 1870 and 1885, led by the iconic Louis Riel, they fought back when Canada took their lands. These acts of resistance became defining moments in Canadian history, with implications that reverberate to this day: Western alienation, Indigenous rights, and the French/English divide.”

Watch for more ideas throughout June!