June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day
June 12, 2020
June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day, a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. National Indigenous Peoples Day (formerly National Aboriginal Day) was announced in 1996 through a proclamation by then Governor General of Canada, Roméo LeBlanc. The proclamation was signed after consultations with various Indigenous groups. June 21, the summer solstice, was selected due to its cultural significance for many Indigenous peoples and communities.
Indigenous peoples in Canada have faced historic oppression and systemic barriers that hinder their access to high-quality, well-funded public services, including health care. Advocating for access to high-quality health care for all means supporting and recognizing the unique experiences of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis nurses in our union.
ONA strives to create space and support for our Indigenous members through the Members of Indigenous Descent Caucus Group, which meets at our Human Rights and Equity Caucus each year. ONA member Susan Archibald shared her personal experiences as an Indigenous woman facing discrimination in the health-care system with the team.
We encourage all of our members to take the time to engage with Indigenous cultural celebrations, be willing to learn, but also reflect on the issues faced by Indigenous communities and the intersection with your practice.
We encourage ONA members, family, and friends to join us and other allies in celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our members and the public must refrain from attending live events, such as parades and rallies. We will post information about virtual events as it is available.
See below for details about National Indigenous Peoples Day 2020 events:
- Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival (SSIF) Virtual Edition: The 2020 edition of the SSIF brings Indigenous artists, vendors and performers together online to celebrate, educate and build connections. You can view live performances and socially distanced Pow Wows. Click here to view their opening ceremony.
If you or your Local will be participating in National Indigenous Peoples Day activities in your community, let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we will post the details here for other ONA members.
ONA is committed to being an inclusive and equitable organization that recognizes membership diversity. Visit our Human Rights & Equity webpage to learn about the work being done by our Human Rights & Equity Team, contact team members, and to access valuable resources.
Check out our updated FAQ guides for ONA members and leaders to help recognize and deal with human rights issues including racial discrimination and harassment in the workplace.
Watch ONA's "Human Rights and Equity Caucus" video and learn more about the role we play in promoting equity and diversity for our members in the workplace and in the Union.
Check out the Canadian Indigenous Nurses Association's (CINA) Twitter account for the latest news and issues impacting Canada's Indigenous nurses and the health-care system. You can also visit their website here.
Visit the Canadian Nurses Association website for resources and information on Indigenous Health in Canada.
CBC News interviewed Indigenous nurses on their unique experiences. They spoke about the need to increase the number of Indigenous nurses to change the health-care system and fight against discrepancies between the health care provided to Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. Click here for the complete article.
For more information about advocacy for First Nations peoples in Canada, see the website for the Assembly of First Nations.
Check out the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada website to learn about advocacy to support access and opportunities for First Nations children and youth. They also have a page dedicated to COVID-19 resources.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada published 94 Calls to Action on how to commit to reconciliation at all levels of governance.
To learn more about the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples down load a digital copy of one of the books from by reading a digital copy of one the books from the #IndigenousReads reading list or by exploring a virtual museum exhibit, such as:
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