Ontario Recognizes National Aboriginal Day
McGuinty Government Honours First Nations, Inuit And Métis Culture
Ontarians can participate in a variety of Aboriginal cultural events and learn about the rich heritage of First Nations, Inuit and Métis this upcoming June 21, 2011, on summer solstice, the longest day of the year.
National Aboriginal Day recognizes the important contributions that Aboriginal people, their cultures and traditions have made, and continue to make, to Ontario and Canada.
Events and activities are being held across the province throughout June, including:
- Summer Solstice Aboriginal Arts Festival Presented by the Assembly of First Nations at the Lebreton Flats (war museum) in Ottawa on June 17-19
- Native Canadian Centre of Toronto's Aboriginal History Month Celebration Event at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto on June 21
- National Aboriginal Day with David Suzuki at Pic Mobert First Nation near White River on June 21
- The CN Tower will be lit in the colours of the traditional Medicine Wheel on June 21 at 9 p.m.
- National Aboriginal Day was first celebrated in 1996, after it was proclaimed that year by the Governor General of Canada.
- Ontario has three groups of Aboriginal people: First Nations, Inuit and Métis.
- More than one in five Aboriginal people in Canada live in Ontario - making Ontario home to the largest Aboriginal population in the country.
- June is also National Aboriginal History Month.
- The Medicine Wheel represents traditional teachings and a way of living that is still a cornerstone of First Nations cultures in North America today. It is a circle divided into four coloured sections, red, yellow, white and a dark colour such as blue or black.
“On National Aboriginal Day, people and families all across Ontario and Canada will celebrate our First Peoples through music, dance, stories, food and more. Join us as we learn about the history and traditions of Inuit, Métis and First Nations people, and as we celebrate the richness of Ontario.”
“Across Ontario, National Aboriginal Day will be celebrated with some great events and activities. This is a wonderful opportunity for all Ontarians to recognize and appreciate the rich and unique cultures of Ontario's Aboriginal peoples.”