National Indigenous Peoples Day is a day in which our people gather for a vibrant and vital occasion to recognize and celebrate our beautiful culture, history, and all the work Indigenous people are doing across the nation. This day on the calendar is more than just a date, it is everyday. It is a time to reflect, educate, and engage with the diverse traditions and histories of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples.

On National Indigenous Peoples Day, it is a time for all of us to recognize and celebrate the distinct cultures of our peoples. All of this includes traditional music, dance, storytelling, and art. These cultural expressions are not just our historical artifacts; they are living, evolving practices that continue to shape the strong identities and experiences of Indigenous communities today.

This day is also a time for reflection on the many historical injustices faced by Indigenous peoples. The ongoing effects of colonialism, which includes the devastating impact of residential schools, land disputes, and systemic discrimination, has left wounds on Indigenous communities across Canada. By acknowledging our people’s painful history, it is a crucial step towards building the trust that has been lost and move to a healing moment. Educational initiatives on this day often focus on raising the necessary awareness about the past that should not be forgotten. When we learn, we can better understand the present challenges faced by Indigenous peoples and work together towards a more just and equitable future.

Embracing the diversity of Indigenous cultures is not only about celebration but also about building relationships based on mutual respect and understanding. By doing this, we can all come together through active participation in community events and supporting Indigenous rights and sovereignty. Listening is an impact to build these relationships. This allows for a deeper connection and understanding. It is through shared experiences and dialogues that we can begin to dismantle prejudices and stereotypes, paving the way for genuine reconciliation.

The spirit of this day is a powerful reminder of the enduring presence and contributions of Indigenous peoples. When we embrace the diversity and the holistic approaches of Indigenous culture, we not only honor the past but also contribute to a more inclusive and equitable society for all. Let this day and everyday be a call to action, inspiring us to learn, connect, and work towards a future where the voices and rights of our people are fully recognized and respected.

I would like to end by saying, even though our world is unstable, we must remember to take care of one another, check in on our loved ones, and work together not apart, because when we work together, we are stronger.

Leah Vaisanen


Indigenous Caucus Chairperson