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National Aboriginal Day

Thursday, June 16, 2016
Categories: School Web Stories

On June 21 each year, people across Canada mark National Aboriginal Day in recognition of the rights, histories, contributions and achievements of Aboriginal peoples. The unique cultures, languages and spiritual practices of First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities are celebrated nationally and in our city. National Aboriginal Day is held around the time of the summer solstice – the longest day of the year – which has spiritual significance for Indigenous people.

In schools across Toronto, we honour this day through cultural activities to build knowledge about the histories and current contexts of Aboriginal peoples in Canada.

Learn more about this poster can be used as a learning tool for National Aboriginal Day.
Aboriginal Poster

 

A growing number of Indigenous students and families are joining us at the TDSB. Through the Aboriginal Education Centre, we are dedicated to developing programs that meet the needs of Indigenous students and families and that enable all students and staff to learn from Indigenous perspectives.

On National Aboriginal Day, we will also be marking a number of important events that occurred over the past year. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action, the result of a six-year investigation into the history of the Indian Residential Schools System, set a course for reconciliation and included recommendations around curriculum change in Ontario.

Canada signed on to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous PeoplesAnd finally, in a landmark decision, on April 14, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Daniels v Canada, which ruled that Métis and non-status Indians are covered by Section 91(24) of the Constitution Act, 1897, meaning that they fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government. Read the Supreme Court Decision.

There is much to celebrate this year. We hope you’ll join us!

The History of National Aboriginal Day
  • The National Indian Brotherhood (now the Assembly of First Nations) called for the creation of National Aboriginal Solidarity Day in 1982.
  • In 1995, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples recommended the designation of a National First Peoples Day and the Sacred Assembly, a national conference of Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, called for a national holiday to celebrate the contributions of Aboriginal peoples.
  •  National Aboriginal Day was created in 1996 by then-Governor General of Canada, Roméo LeBlanc, in consultation with many Aboriginal groups and people.

For a full listing of National Aboriginal Day events taking place in Toronto and across Canada, visit the City of Toronto and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada websites.

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