National Indigenous Peoples Day
Today is National Indigenous People’s Day, a day to honour and celebrate the contributions of Indigenous People to Canada. The City of St. Catharines and Niagara region is the traditional home to many First Nations, Metis and Inuit Peoples. The land is the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe peoples, many of whom continue to live and work here today.
The Niagara territory is covered by the Upper Canada Treaties and the Dish with One Spoon Wampum agreement.
This land acknowledgement is a statement that is important to reminds us that our great standard of living is directly related to the resources and friendship of Indigenous people in our community – and indeed across the nations.
Our region’s history with First Nations is a vital part of our city’s cultural fabric, heritage and our shared future.
Earlier this month, we were all deeply moved by the news from Kamloops Residential School.
It was a moment for us – as white colonial settlers – to listen, to feel, and to sit with the truth of our country’s founding.
For us to face the truth of the genocide perpetrated by governments and institutions against First Nations peoples and generations of children who did not return to their families.
We now need to take action as a community, as a nation of nations – to come together to support each other through healing and action.
We need to do more and be an ally and active partner in building a better future.
I encourage our community to take time today – and going forward to learn more about Indigenous culture – it is part of our history and it’s up to us as settlers to educate ourselves – listen, read, learn.
Here are some resources to start:
Sean Vanderklis will be on CBC Radio One
“We Walk Together” 4 – 6 p.m.
The St. Catharines Library:
Highlighting books by indigenous authors
Kids Activity Guides for pick up.
St. Catharines Museum: Sharing information to increase knowledge
Niagara Chapter of Native Women: http://ncnw.net/national-indigenous-history-month/
Niagara Parks / Landscape of Nations: Part 3 of the Speaker Series takes place on June 24th
The Province also provided additional resources you can find at the link below, including the
2021 Virtual National Indigenous Peoples Day event: http://www.saintemarieamongthehurons.on.ca/sm/en/SpecialEvents/index.htm