June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada, and a focal point of Indigenous History Month.
In 2021 we observe this day with a particular grief, as we mourn those children whose bodies were found in a mass unmarked grave at the site of a former Residential School in Kamloops. We grieve for the parents who never got to see those children come home from Residential School. We grieve for the generations of indigenous people who suffered, and still suffer, great trauma from the Residential School system. We grieve for our country, which will never be whole while the hard work of truth and reconciliation remains ahead of us.
We try at the same time, however, to use this day to celebrate the rich and beautiful lives of Indigenous people, their culture, history, art, wisdom, and more. We celebrate our First Nations, Metis and Inuit peoples as Canadians. And most of all, together we celebrate our shared humanity.
Find out more:
Canada.ca: National Indigenous Peoples Day