In National Indigenous Peoples Day: 10 Ways to Celebrate we have suggestions for celebrating this important day. Most of the suggestions involve attending an event or visiting a site. What a difference a year makes. National Indigenous Peoples Day 2020 celebrations are among the many events that have been cancelled due to the pandemic. We didn’t want you to miss out so we’ve compiled a list of 10 activities you can enjoy at home.
Here are some suggestions for celebrating, learning, listening and laughing:
1. Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival
Live-stream the virtual edition of the Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival from June 1 to 21.
Springtime is PowWow time for many Indigenous cultures in both Canada and the U.S. PowWows are joyous and beautiful expressions of culture meant to uplift people after the winter. This year, due to the pandemic restrictions, PowWows have gone online so you can still enjoy the dances, the regalia, and feel your spirit uplifted.
- The Pow Wow A Primer on the First Nation Pow Wow
- The Pow Wow - First Nation Pow Wow Protocol
- The Pow Wow - First Nation Pow Wow Dances
Podcasts are a series of audio files that are available online and most are structured like a TV or radio show; some are stand-alone while others have multi episodes and even seasons, and others have featured guest speakers.
Here are some that caught our attention:
- Native Currents
- This Land
- Red Man Laughing
- Coffee With My Ma
- All My Relations
- The Jig Is Up
- Missing and Murdered: Finding Cleo
What are the key issues for Indigenous Peoples in Canada? Bob Joseph explains in this video:
5. Films & Documentaries
The expression “the camera never lies” should be taken with a grain of salt when looking at how Indigenous characters have been portrayed in Hollywood over time. Reel Injun, listed below, provides more context. Indigenous representation in movies about Indigenous Peoples has come a long way.
- Reel Injun (trailer)
- NFB library of films about Indigenous Peoples
- Reel Canada catalogue of Indigenous Made Films
- Shadow of Dumont (trailer)
- Rhymes for Young Ghouls (trailer)
- Blood Quantum (trailer)
- Smoke Signals (trailer) featuring Dr Evan Tlesla II Adams, Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Public Health, Indigenous Services, and Adam Beach
- Stolen Spirits of Haida Gwaii (movie)
- Thunderheart (trailer)
- Windtalkers (trailer)
- Searching For Winnetou (documentary)
- Maker of Monsters: The Extraordinary Life of Beau Dick (documentary)
6. Listen to and learn about some Indigenous musicians
- Indigenous Music (a website collection of composers, groups, session players, solo artists, and songwriters)
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada included four calls to action for sports and recreation. Here’s just one:
87. We call upon all levels of government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, sports halls of fame, and other relevant organizations, to provide public education that tells the national story of Aboriginal athletes in history.
There are a great many amazing past, present and emerging Indigenous athletes. Here's a list of just 21 outstanding Indigenous athletes.
8. Discover Indigenous humour
CBC’s Unreserved devoted an episode to Indigenous comedy:
And here are just two of the many Indigenous comedians:
- Charlie Hill at the Winnipeg Comedy Fest
- Don Burnstick
9. Visit a Museum Collection Online
Museums and Indigenous Peoples have historically had a difficult relationship. In Aboriginal Repatriation - Aboriginal Peoples and museums we provide some background on the relationship. Knowing the history of how museums formerly built up their collections provides an understanding of why museums were included in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s 94 calls to action. Here’s a call to action specifically for museums:
67. We call upon the federal government to provide funding to the Canadian Museums Association to undertake, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, a national review of museum policies and best practices to determine the level of compliance with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and to make recommendations.
Here are some online stories from the Canadian Museum of Human Rights website:
- Approaching the human rights stories of Indigenous peoples
- Picking Up the Pieces: The Making of the Witness Blanket
- Dick Patrick: An Indigenous veteran’s fight for inclusion
- Childhood denied
- Bringing the ancestors home
10. Take our Indigenous Relations training
We've been offering Indigenous relations training since 2002 and have trained thousands of people, in all walks of life, all across Canada. You can enroll in our Indigenous Relations Academy or join one of our Virtual Classrooms in a time zone near you.
11. Take a Pledge of Reconciliation
We have a Personal Pledge of Reconciliation and a Professional Pledge of Reconciliation that you can download, print and pin on your fridge or pegboard of your home office. We would love to build up the number of people who download the Pledges so please share widely with your family, peers, and pals.
Thank you so much for your interest in learning about Indigenous Peoples and finding ways to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day safely.