The history of Canada and the land of our First Nations is something that is seldomly discussed within our education system.
It is not only our job as parents to educate ourselves and those around us, but we must also advocate for the people who’s land we benefit from.
Task 1: Learn the History
Canada day is actually an extension of the Celebrate Canada Program
Celebrate Canada program includes National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21), Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day (June 24), Canadian Multiculturalism Day (June 27) and Canada Day (July 1).
It’s important to recognize and celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day before celebrating Canada day!
What is National Indigenous Peoples Day?
June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day. This is a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. The Canadian Constitution recognizes these three groups as Aboriginal peoples, also known as Indigenous peoples. Although these groups share many similarities, they each have their own distinct heritage, language, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs.
Task 2: Teach your kids!
There is a wealth of resources on Canadian government websites that help parents and teachers inform their children in age-appropriate ways. This one is one of my favorites – Kids’ stop.
Task 3: Amplify the voices of Indigenous communities
Look up forums and articles written by Indigenous advocates and share their voices on your platforms.
Killa Atencio, for example, speaks a lot on a variety of different topics regarding the Aboriginal experience in Canada today. The following is also an insightful article she wrote about cultural appropriation Aboriginal communities face.
Cultural appropriation isn’t about fragile feelings, it’s an exploitative form of colonialism
Task 4: CONTRIBUTE
It is only befitting that we give back to the communities that we continuously take from.
Donate to organizations that support Indigenous communities. True North Aid is a great resource that has a compilation of charities that support this cause.
Task 5: ASK
Reach out and ask how you can be part of the healing of the first nation communities. Don’t assume or speak for them. Avoid controlling the narrative. Listen and implement instead.