Indigenous Day important culturally

Friday a celebration will be held in the city that doesn’t always get the recognition it should.

The day in question is National Indigenous Peoples which is celebrated on June 21, each year.

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The day “takes place annually to celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada. The three groups are of course officially recognized as Aboriginal people by the Canadian Constitution.

National Aboriginal Day was first celebrated in 1996, when it was proclaimed by then Governor General of Canada Roméo LeBlanc.

Before that, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples as well as a national conference of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people had called for a Canadian holiday to celebrate the contributions of Aboriginal peoples.

June 21, 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 Indigenous peoples and communities traditionally celebrate their heritage. It was renamed from National Aboriginal Day in 2017, detailed Wikipedia.

“In 2001, members of the 14th Legislative Assembly passed the National Aboriginal Day Act making the Northwest Territories the first jurisdiction in Canada to recognise this day as a formal statutory holiday,” continued Wikipedia.

“On 21 June 2017, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released a statement pledging to rename the event National Indigenous Peoples 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.”

Over the years we pause to mark and celebrate from the sacrifices of our war veterans, to holiday’s specific to specific religions. They are part of the diverse culture of Canada.

A day marking the contribution of the earliest peoples to live in what is now Canada is one that fits into our cultural mosaic in a unique and important way, and it should be marked.

Thanks to the Yorkton Tribal Council we have that opportunity as they host a variety of activities scheduled for Western Financial Group City Centre Park Friday.

The day is being organized as a celebration, and the community should be there to partake in marking the contributions of our indigenous ancestors.

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