National Aboriginal Day was announced in 1996 by the then Governor General of Canada, Roméo LeBlanc. June 21 was chosen as the day to mark National Aboriginal Day because it coincides with the summer solstice. For generations, many Indigenous groups have considered the summer solstice as a day to celebrate their culture and heritage, due to the fact that it is the longest day of the year.
National Aboriginal Day is a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the diverse cultures and outstanding accomplishments and contributions of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples. The Aboriginal groups recognized by the Canadian Constitution are First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples. If you are not familiar with the unique heritage and cultural diversity of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples, National Aboriginal Day is a great day to learn more. Cultural events to mark this special day take place all across Canada on June 21. We encourage you to find an event in your area.
A special announcement was made today by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He renewed Canada’s commitment to building stronger government-to-government relationships and he made a promise to rename today National Indigenous Peoples Day.
On this National Aboriginal Day, we at CBU encourage everyone to celebrate this as a special day to contemplate reconciliation. Cape Breton University has many Aboriginal staff and faculty and has chosen to share a few of their profiles with you today to mark this special holiday.