Sonny Diabo, from Kahnawake, performs a smoke dance in Old Montreal as part of National Aboriginal Day in 2013 (Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz)
In 2009, the House of Commons passed a unanimous motion declaring June National Aboriginal History Month, an opportunity to recognize the historic contributions of Aboriginal peoples to the development of the country, and to highlight present-day Aboriginal communities.
The focal point of the month is National Aboriginal Day, on June 21, when Canadians are invited to participate in the events taking place across the country. But throughout the month, all sorts of exhibits, performance, screenings and more will also be going down. Here's some of what's happening.
- The Toronto-based imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival celebrates its 15th anniversary this October; for National Aboriginal History Month, it's putting on a free series of screenings and events, including Navajo Star Wars—a presentation of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope dubbed into the Najavo language. Find out more »
- The University of British Columbia Library, in partnership with the Musqueam Indian Band, is organizing Aboriginal (Un)History Month, a series of talks, exhibits and more celebrating Aboriginal creativity, scholarship and intellectual traditions, and exploring different meanings of the term "history." Find out more »
- At the Edmonton Public Library, Métis artist Melissa-Jo Belcourt Moses will be presenting a program of stories, discussions and artifacts focussing on tools and technologies used by Alberta's Métis people in the 18th and 19th century. Find out more »
- Actor Michelle Thrush and singer-songwriter Derek Miller co-host APTN's annual Aboriginal Day Live & Celebration, taking place this year at two sites: The Forks, in Winnipeg, and the Halifax waterfront. Find out more »
- The Summer Solstice Aboriginal Arts Festival takes place in Ottawa over three days in June, and includes music, dance, workshops and even a competition powwow. Find out more »
- The Native Canadian Centre of Toronto's annual Aboriginal History Month celebration will take place on June 26, and will include music, dance and arts and crafts, anchored by singer-songwriter Derek Miller. Find out more »
- On June 14, the Salisbury Public Library in Salisbury, NB, will screen the documentary Reel Injun: On the Trail of the Hollywood Indian. Find out more »
Know of other great National Aboriginal History Month events? Let us know in the comments!