By now we know that June is the Indigenous History Month in Canada. The national Indigenous History Month was first instituted in 2009, in an effort to educate, connect and promote reconciliation in Canada.
While every day and month is important to acknowledge the indigenous history of Canada, this month is dedicated to celebrating and highlighting the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. Indigenous history of Canada is the recorded past of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada, stretching back thousands of years.
For many immigrants, the indigenous history often feels remote, and we, unfortunately, act indifferent towards it. It is upon us, including first generation Canadians to learn and lift the indigenous history of this land.
The recent discovery of the remains of 215 children at the former residential school site in Kamloops, B.C., makes it important, more than ever, that those of us who live in this land of the indigenous people understand and educate ourselves on the history and make conscious efforts at reconciliation. For many immigrants, the indigenous history often feels remote, and we act indifferent towards it. However, as we have decided to embrace this nation, we must also take that step towards understanding the historic and some unfortunate but ongoing injustices in order to create a more just society that we envision for ourselves and the generations to come.
It is in this spirit that The Immigrant Life helps you educate and learn about Indigenous history, how to celebrate it and to become better Canadians. Below you will find some invaluable resources as well as how you can honor this month.
- Add Indigenous tourism experiences to all your travels. When traveling to a new place, try to learn its indigenous name and the history of the place, the culture, and its people.
- Connect to the land and past. Commit to learn about the land where you live and acknowledge it.
- Support Indigenous enterprises. Indigenous artists and entrepreneurs have existing businesses and new ones are being launched every day. Support them by buying from them and understand their culture.
- Explore educational tools available in the libraries, schools, community centers, and universities.
Indigenous Corporate Training (ICT) acknowledges that one of the big concerns when beginning to work with and engage with Indigenous Peoples and communities is inadvertently causing offence. And, as Canada moves along the path to reconciliation, more and more organizations and individuals are looking for information to assist them with their professional and personal goals for reconciliation. ICT, thus provide an enormous wealth of resource in the Guidebook to Indigenous Protocol for anyone interested to learn about the etiquette and customs when it comes to understanding and honoring the indigenous history.
These are the websites of great treasure and knowledge:
It is upon us, including first generation Canadians to learn and lift the indigenous history of this land.
This article was written by Meena Kaini.