June 20, 2017

Family Service Toronto joins all Canadians in recognizing June 21 as National Aboriginal Day and celebrating the cultural diversity of Inuit, Métis and First Nations peoples and their significant contribution to our society.

Wednesday is the 21st annual day established by the federal government to celebrate Indigenous culture and heritage and falls in National Aboriginal History Month. The date was chosen because it corresponds to the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, and because for generations, many Indigenous groups have celebrated their culture and heritage in June.

This year’s celebration comes in the wake of recent findings of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which examined decades of abuse at residential schools and the fallout. It also coincides with the ongoing national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. Both developments have emphasized the fractured relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous groups in the country.

In this exceptional year marking the 150th anniversary of Confederation, we recognize the important work of these national investigations and the many layers of oppression inflicted on Indigenous peoples over our history.

We also support the Broadbent’s Institute call on the federal government to ensure that Indigenous children have access to the same level of social services available to non-Indigenous children. Sign the petition.

The Aboriginal People’s Television Network will broadcast performances by Inuit, Métis and First Nations artists during Wednesday’s National Aboriginal Day Live programming.

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