National Aboriginal Solidarity Day-June 21
What is it?
National Aboriginal Solidarity Day celebrates and recognizes the important contributions made to Canada by First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. These contributions include art, language, and reverence for land, Aboriginal epistemology and spirituality. Aboriginal people first called for this national day in 1982—it took the federal government 14 years (from 1982-1996) to officially proclaim June 21st National Aboriginal day.
June 21st is traditionally significant because it is the longest day of the year (summer solstice) and a day celebrated by many Aboriginal people throughout their history.
1982: National Indian Brotherhood (now the Assembly of First Nations) calls for the creation of June 21st as National Aboriginal Solidarity Day.
1990: Quebec legislature recognizes June 21st as a day to celebrate Aboriginal culture.
1995: Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples recommends the designation of a National First Peoples Day. The Sacred Assembly, a national conference of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people chaired by Elijah Harper, calls for a national holiday to celebrate the contributions of Aboriginal peoples.
1996: Former Governor General Roméo LeBlanc, declares June 21st as National Aboriginal Day after consultations with various Aboriginal groups; the first National Aboriginal Day is celebrated with events from coast to coast to coast.
- Aboriginal women in Canada are the only women who have a specific set of laws (The Indian Act) that dictates how they must live and that takes away rights that other women in Canada have achieved. (Example: Matrimonial Real Property Rights.)
- More than 520 Aboriginal women are murdered or missing in Canada. The Stolen Sisters Campaign of Amnesty International—inspired by the Sisters in Spirit campaign of the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC)—has determined that “there is no excuse for government inaction” on these violations of Aboriginal women.
- Aboriginal women sex trade workers, often forced into prostitution as a result of colonialism, historic racism and poverty, are at higher risk of violence.
- Aboriginal women in Canada have one of the lowest average earnings of any group.
- Canada continues to be censured by the United Nations for its lack of action on violations of the rights of Aboriginal people in Canada and specifically on its lack of action on the poverty and violence experienced by Aboriginal women.
What can I do?
- Learn about the work that Aboriginal women are doing around Ontario to advocate within and on behalf of their communities, and for an end to violence against Aboriginal women and children. You can start at the websites below and contact Aboriginal agencies and groups in your local community.
- Provide information to others around you—in your workplace, school, or any other community space where you can.
- Challenge social, economic and political structures that continue to support systemic racism, colonialism and oppression of Aboriginal people.
- Challenge yourself to look at the privilege you have gained as a result of colonization and oppression of Aboriginal people in Canada.
- Support the National Day of Action sponsored by the Assembly of First Nations on June 29th.
Websites with more information:
Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA) http://www.onwa-tbay.ca
The Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) http://www.nwac-hq.org
Stolen Sisters (Amnesty International) http://www.amnesty.ca/campaigns/sisters_overview.php
The Métis National Council of Women (MNCW) http://www.metiswomen.ca
Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada http://www.pauktuutit.ca/home_e.html
The National Aboriginal Circle Against Family Violence (NACFV) http://nacafv.ca/en/mandate
- Action Now!
- What We Think!
- Action Tools
- Equity Calendar
- International Women's Day
- International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
- Mother's Day
- Pride Week
- National Aboriginal Solidarity Day
- Labour Day
- National Day of Vigils to Remember Murdered and Missing
- International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
- 16 Days of Activism
- International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
- World AIDS Day
- International Day of Persons with Disabilities
- National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women
- Human Rights Day
Click here if you are concerned about someone knowing the sites you have visited.
Click here to leave this site quickly.