11 Ways to Virtually Celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day

June 02, 2020

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.

pow_wow_dancer-NIPD-virtual-celebration2. PowWows
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. 

Drums, dancers livestream
Christopher Martin Photography
Hunting Moon PowWow


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

3. Podcasts
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

4. Videos
What are the key issues for Indigenous Peoples in Canada? Bob Joseph explains in this video:


Namwayut: we are all one. Truth and reconciliation in Canada

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)
50 Years of Indigenous-Made Cinema in Canada: A Celebration (Article)
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)

7. Sports
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:
Stand-up, sketch and satire: The rise of 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, 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.

personal-pledge-reconciliation-Indigenous-Peoplesprofessional-pledge-reconciliation-Indigenous-Peoples Thank you so much for your interest in learning about Indigenous Peoples and finding ways to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day safely. 

Topics: Indigenous Arts and Culture, Indigenous Peoples, Reconciliation

Indigenous Corporate Training Inc., provides information on this blog for free as a resource for those seeking information about Indigenous Peoples in Canada. Readers looking for more detailed information, or who have questions, can sign up for our fee-for-service training. Also, ICT encourages everyone who reads this information to use their best judgment given their own circumstances, vulnerabilities, and needs, and to contact a consulting or legal professional if you have more specific questions. Join the conversation over on our Linkedin page.