This day, as part of National Indigenous Peoples Month, is a day to commemorate and celebrate the histories, cultures, traditions and contributions of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples in Canada. National Indigenous Peoples Day falls on the summer solstice – the longest day of the year and one of historical and cultural value to Indigenous peoples. Beyond the celebration, this day is also to serve as a reminder of the contemporary issues faced by Indigenous communities in Canada, and the need of working towards building a future through reconciliation.
Indigeneity is founded on truth and lessons of the past. It holds a deep appreciation for the land and environment, rooted in traditional knowledge on how to sustain it. Indigenization requires making decisions for generations to come, rather than seeking immediate benefits related to economic growth.
Similarly, sustainability is founded on the principle of meeting the needs of future generations in a way that does not compromise justice and our environment. It encompasses bringing all voices to light and leaving no one behind. To achieve this balance between people and planet, there are many lessons that may be taken from Indigenous culture. Today is just one of the many days that we can honour that privilege.
Historically, Indigenous peoples in Canada have been marginalized and faced with systemic barriers – blocking access to basic needs such as public services and education, to name a few. We acknowledge the role we have to play in altering this reality by means of honouring Indigenous people while preparing learners for success in a complex world.
Join the Indigenous Initiatives and Partnerships team at BCIT to honour Indigenous stories, voices and lived experiences.