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Ontario Celebrates National Aboriginal Day

News Release

Ontario Celebrates National Aboriginal Day

Province-wide Events to Showcase First Nation, Inuit and Métis Culture

To celebrate National Aboriginal Day on June 21, activities as colourful and diverse as First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities themselves are being held across the province.

Traditional singing, drumming and dancing at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons in Midland, a sunrise ceremony at Toronto's City Hall and a summer solstice Aboriginal arts festival in Ottawa are just three ways Ontarians can take part in events marking National Aboriginal Day.

You can learn more about Aboriginal traditions and the history we share by attending one of the events below. A full list of events and activities can be found here.

  • The Ottawa Summer Solstice Aboriginal Arts Festival and Competition Pow Wow, presented by The Assembly of First Nations. June 19-21, Vincent Massey Park. - ottawasummersolstice.ca - @ottawasolstice
  • Métis Games at the Ottawa Summer Solstice Aboriginal Arts Festival and Competition Pow Wow, presented by the Métis Nation of Ontario. June 21, Vincent Massey Park. - metisnation.org
  • 6th Annual Aboriginal History Month Celebration, presented by the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto. June 24, Yonge-Dundas Square. - ncct.on.ca- @NativeCentre
  • Indigenous Arts Festival, presented by the City of Toronto. June 18-20, Fort York National Historic site. - fortyork.ca- @fortyork
  • 14th Annual Na-Me-Res Traditional Outdoor Pow Wow,presented by Na-Me-Res, Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation and Fort York National Historic Site. June 21, Fort York National Historic Site. - nameres.org- @Na_me_res
  • National Aboriginal Day and Aboriginal Festival Weekend, presented by the Huron Wendat First Nation. June 19-21, Midland. - saintemarieamongthehurons.on.ca - @SainteMarie_hhp

Quick Facts

  • Former Governor General Roméo LeBlanc declared June 21 as National Aboriginal Day in 1996.
  • Ontario has the largest Aboriginal population of any Canadian province, with more than 210,000 First Nations people, more than 86,000 Métis and just over 2,500 Inuit.
  • There are 134 First Nations in Ontario.
  • The name “Ontario” comes from an Iroquois word meaning beautiful lake or beautiful water and was first used for Lake Ontario.
  • Recent changes to the education curriculum mean Ontario students are learning more about Aboriginal history.
  • First Nations and Ontario agreed to a new political accord earlier this week, a milestone agreement that signals a positive step in reconciliation efforts.

Background Information

Additional Resources


David Zimmer

“On National Aboriginal Day, families across the province will celebrate through music, dance, stories, food and more. The Ontario government is proud to honour the historic and ongoing contributions of Aboriginal peoples and our shared history.”

David Zimmer

Minister of Aboriginal Affairs

Media Contacts