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We Arrived Online
National Aboriginal Day June 21, 1998

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National Aboriginal Day
June 21st, 2013

National Aboriginal Day
June 21st, 2012

National Aboriginal Day
June 21st, 2011

National Aboriginal Day
June 21st, 2010
Click Here For Details
Photos etc.

National Aboriginal Day
June 21st, 2009
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National Aboriginal Day
June 21st, 2008
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Winnipeg 2007
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June 21, 2007

Arnie Leon performs a traditional dance
as part of National Aboriginal Day celebrations
at Simon Fraser University's Surrey campus
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Aboriginal Day
Moose Cree First Nation
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Prince Rupert
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Previous Years

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National Aboriginal Day, June 21st 2006
was celebrated many ways by many people in many places
For the Inter Tribal Health Authority (ITHA) in Nanaimo
it was an opportunity to host a very special occasion, to honour our elders
with the unveiling of The Feast of Creation (a dvd in their honour) an Oral Celebration of the Healing Journey.

In October of 2005, twenty-two First Nation Elders from Vancouver Island gathered at Tsa-Kwa-Luten Lodge
on Cape Mudge First Nation land, to share their stories of healing, survival, and mentorship
To thank them for this, on June 21, 2006, ITHA's First Nation House of Healing sponsored The Feast of Creation
a DVD that is "a testament to the strength and humour of these remarkable individuals"
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National Aboriginal Day
June 21st, 2006 in BC
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The Sculptures Below are Presented by Artist Gowan
Click HERE to read about him. Click on the Images for Larger Size
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Summer solstice is a special time of the year brings the official start of the summer season
but also brings Aboriginal celebrations Canada-wide.
Canadians have an opportunity to enjoy Aboriginal cultural events from sea to sea to shining sea.

You can see a lot of it on tv thanks to the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network.

National Aboriginal Solidarity Day 2005

National Aboriginal Solidarity Day 2004

National Aboriginal Solidarity Day 2003

Reports on National Aboriginal Day
CBC News

Community Gathering at T'sou-ke Nation June 21, 2003 organized by Linda Bristol
(T'sou-ke Photos Courtesy of the Kendalls, John and Simone)
Click on Numbers to View More Photos
1     2     3     4     5     6

Entertainment comes in many forms, among the highlights of National Aboriginal Day (National Aboriginal Solidarity Day) including the sharing of culture - storytelling and music. Hundreds of events are planned including pow wows, theatre performances, barbeques, art shows and . . . . . . .

click here to see Aboriginal Day photos elsewhere
Click on Numbers to See Large Photos of Aboriginal Day
at CFB Esquimalt June 2003
1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9

Aldeen Mason is trying her hand at combing sheeps wool
at the Cowichan Sweater session
with the guidance of Mrs. May Sam
of the Tsartlip Nation
Aldeen works at CFB Esquimalt and is the first-ever Aboriginal Relations Officer at the DND base on Vancouver Island
Photo provided by Verna Barker

June 21, 2003 - It's called National Aboriginal Day or National Aboriginal Solidarity Day. However, when you consider all the activities, it might best be called National Aboriginal week. Perhaps we should have a National Aboriginal Month so we have enough time and be able to fit in all the cultural and community events that are blossoming during this pride-filled period.

Although June 21st is the day of focus, there have been many things happening for a week. In fact, at CFB Esquimalt in on Vancouver Island they celebrated a week ago and included ceremonies honouring Aboriginal veterans, as well as serving members of the military. It was a day for cultural displays - drumming, and an opportunity for the navy folks to participate in a friendship dance, witness hoop dancing by one of their own members, and consume some good eats.

We are definitely strutting our stuff. Dozens of Aboriginal communities - First Nation, Metis and urban are celebrating their -aboriginalness- by welcoming non-Aboriginals to participate in pow wows, film exhibits, storytelling, arts and crafts and traditional foods. Sharing our culture amongst ourselves and with others is the foundation of aboriginal awareness across Canada on this special day.

Meanwhile, non-aboriginals find it is an ideal time to illustrate their support by rolling out their own programs and policies and highlighting their efforts to help shine a positive light on Canada's first peoples.

For example, yesterday the Canadian Labour Congress got in on the act of Aboriginal awareness by announcing the release of its Aboriginal Rights Tool Kit to educating the country's unionized workers about Aboriginal issues and Aboriginal peoples' lives. The Royal Bank publicized its successful Stay in School program, providing fifty Aboriginal students with summer jobs across the prairie provinces.

Governments, federal and provincial make use of the opportunity to orchestrate timely announcements regarding their funding of Aboriginal projects. For example, this week the BC government participated in the official launch of FirstVoices.com an aboriginal preservation of languages technology project.

In Ontario, Wasauksing First Nation Chief John Beaucage and Canada Mortgage and Housing hosted a gathering to announce the opening of the $1.5 million Kitizigig Endaugig elders housing complex near Parry Sound. Meanwhile, in Stratton, Ontario the province announced funding to enhance the Kay-Nah Chi-Wah-Nung Manitou Mounds Historical Centre to help celebrate the unique culture and heritage of the Ojibway Peoples.

Click Here to see a June 2003 photo of Bonita Martin-Kennedy accepting a veterans millenium medal - posthumously, on behalf of her father George Robert Kennedy, Sr. - an Oneida
( Photo provided by Verna Barker )
Bonita Martin-Kennedy conducts an interactive cultural writing workshop
with several members of the CFB Esquimalt workforce on Vancouver Island
Click on photo above - to see a June 2003 photo of Bonita Martin-Kennedy
accepting a veterans millenium medal posthumously,
on behalf of her father George Robert Kennedy, Sr.
an Oneida veteran
Celebrating National Aboriginal Day at the Canadian Museum of Civilization
June 21, 2003

Chief Leonard Andrew of the Lil'wat First Nation, with Chief Gibby Jacob of the Squamish First Nation seen here shaking hands with BC Premier Gordon Campbell
over a model of the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre
during the official announcement in Whistler June 21, 2003
click on this photo to see details

Message from Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson Governor General of Canada on National Aboriginal Day June 21, 2003

June 19, 2003

Canada's Aboriginal peoples are integral to the evolution of our country. Actively participating in every facet of Canadian life, our First Nations, Inuit and Métis reflect the proud heritage we all share. Their innovative vision in the areas of culture, business and governance highlights the unity, understanding and respect for all citizens that underpin Canadian society.

As we mark National Aboriginal Day, we recognize the lasting and ongoing contributions of Canada's Indigenous peoples in our society. Our Aboriginal identity is fundamental to our history, our place in the global community and our future as a prosperous and decent nation.

Adrienne Clarkson


BACKGROUND on National Aboriginal Day

Statement in the House of Commons

National Aboriginal Day
Friday June 21, 2002

Mr. Bill Blaikie (Winnipeg?Transcona, NDP): Mr. Speaker, today the first day of summer is National Aboriginal Day, a day to celebrate aboriginal people, their communities, their cultures and their successes. It should also be a day to acknowledge their continuing need for justice, their continuing right to justice and their relationship with non-aboriginal Canada.

On National Aboriginal Day let us dedicate ourselves to a new era for aboriginal people in Canada. Among other things the federal government should go the extra mile in settling land claims, ending its evasion of responsibility when it comes to residential school claims, and providing the resources necessary to help lift aboriginal Canadians out of the terrible social and economic conditions so many of them have to endure.

We have a long way to go before we can celebrate a different day called national day of justice for aboriginal people.

Drums Across the Nation
( this is a .pdf file )
Assembly of First Nations - National Aboriginal Solidarity Day June 21st - A Call to Action
Let us stand together, united in our traditions
and our inherent Aboriginal and Treaty rights!

Assembly of First Nations message to:
All First Nations and Provincial/Territorial Organizations


We are asking all First Nations and organizations to join with us in a National Day of Solidarity and Action on June 21 st , 2002, Aboriginal Solidarity Day.

This day is an important opportunity for all First Nations to stand together and send a strong message to Canada in regards to the proposed First Nations Governance Act (FNGA) and other initiatives. First Nations have strongly rejected the approach and process of the FNGA for over a year. Despite this, Minister Nault is proceeding with the FNGA.

The proposed FNGA will threaten Aboriginal and Treaty rights by continuing to impose the colonial approach of the Indian Act. This has never worked in the past and continued attempts to simply amend the Act will fail.

First Nations are calling for implementation of our inherent right to self-determination as recognized in section 35 of the Constitution Act. First Nations leaders must sit with Canada in a broad process that will address the many issues facing our peoples.

We have submitted the First Nation Plan to the Government of Canada. This Plan sets out four main streams for change: Nation re-building; the implementation of Treaties; the re-distribution of lands and resources; and a new fiscal relationship with First Nations. To support these streams, action must take place to build First Nation capacity, to re-align and build institutions, to engage First Nations as full participants in the Canadian economy and to meet the urgent needs of First Nation communities.

Please consider participating in this event by organizing activities in your community.

We suggest that you could use this as an opportunity to demonstrate how your community is dealing with governance and what it means to you. In particular, profiling community successes and accomplishments may be beneficial. This can become a public education and awareness event for your community, for neighbouring communities and beyond through the media.

Let us stand together, united in our traditions and our inherent Aboriginal and Treaty rights!

APTN Broadcasts National Aboriginal Day Celebrations

First Peoples Festival

National Aboriginal Day in Canada
June 21, 2002

The Honourable James K. Bartleman will spend his first National Aboriginal Day as Lieutenant Governor for Ontario with the Anishinabek Nation. The Lieutenant Governor's office has confirmed that he will be on hand during National Aboriginal Day celebrations, June 21, 2002 at Anishinabek Nation Headquarters on Nipissing First Nation.

"We are pleased to announce that the Lieutenant Governor for Ontario will be with us to celebrate National Aboriginal Day," said Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Vernon Roote. "This is an occasion where we give honour and recognition to the outstanding contributions of Anishinabe people. We honour him for ascending to such a respected leadership level, and in turn, we are honoured by his decision to spend this special day with us."

Mr. Bartleman, who was installed as Lieutenant Governor on March 7, is from the Mnjikaning First Nation and is the first aboriginal Vice-Regal in Ontario. This being his first National Aboriginal Day as Lieutenant Governor makes his visit to Anishinabek Nation headquarters a historic occasion.

"This day has so much significance. We celebrate Mr. Bartleman's investiture as the Queen's Representative in Ontario, and commemorate the original spirit of first contact, where Anishinabek and Canadians walked hand- in-hand in the development of this country," said Grand Council Chief Roote.

In 1996, the Governor General of Canada proclaimed June 21 of every year to be known as National Aboriginal Day. All Canadians are invited to recognize the diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis.

An Open House will take place at Anishinabek Nation Headquarters on Highway 17 about 5 km west of North Bay, Ontario. The Lieutenant Governor will preside over the official launch the NIIJII CIRCLE, a new Public Education initiative about aboriginal issues. In addition, Mr. Bartleman will be on hand for the announcement of the recipients of the Anishinabek Nation Lifetime Achievement Awards and a new award called the Debwewin Citations for Journalism, presented to honour non-Native journalists for excellence in coverage of Native issues.

The Anishinabek Nation incorporated the Union of Ontario Indians as its secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 43 member First Nations across Ontario. The Union of Ontario Indians is the oldest political organization in Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires, which existed long before European contact.


For further information: contact: Bob Goulais, info@anishinabek.ca,
(705) 497-9127 (days) or (705) 753-9576 (evenings);
Refer to the accompanying information sheet or visit http://www.anishinabek.ca/uoi/

Signing of the Proclamation for
National Aboriginal Day


Rideau Hall
Thursday, June 13, 1996

We are here to proclaim National Aboriginal Day, and to express Canada's respect for the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis in our past, our present, and our future.

Many cities in Canada are less than a hundred years old. But aboriginal people have lived in this land for more than a hundred centuries. From coast to coast and in the Arctic, they first explored our lakes and rivers; they first mastered our forests and prairies; and they helped those who came later to join them.

In the year 1624, a French missionary wrote these words about the natives who fed and housed him: "They hold it proper to help passers-by, and to receive courteously among them every person who is not their clear enemy .... They see to all necessities for one another, so that there are no poor beggars among them; and they think it great evil, when they hear that in France, great numbers of people are poor and begging."

The first Europeans to arrive here found a populated continent, with hundreds of aboriginal cultures, almost all of them sharing high qualities of skill, bravery, consensus, and compassion. Those first peoples taught the newcomers the medicines, food, and clothing that let them survive, and the canoes and snowshoes that gave them transport.

But I will repeat what I have said in this room before. The aboriginal people who gave us the keys to Canada found the door closed to them at Confederation.

And still today, great challenges remain for aboriginal communities. But perhaps a new tide is rising. Some speak of a native renaissance, as the first peoples reclaim their rightful place in Canada.

And perhaps once again, Canada will learn from the native people.

In the past year, on behalf of Canadians, I have honoured many members of aboriginal communities for their high achievements. And I recognize the presence of remarkable individuals here today.

Through National Aboriginal Day, Canada will now extend proud recognition to all the first peoples. Already the Assembly of First Nations and the province of Quebec have marked the special significance of June 21st and the summer solstice. With today's proclamation, we will extend that recognition into a national day of awareness and of celebration for all Canadians; and I commend Elijah Harper and all of those responsible.

On June 21st, this year and every year, Canada will honour the native peoples who first brought humanity to this great land. And may the first peoples of our past always be full and proud partners in our future.

Where We've Been and Where We're Going

National Aboriginal Day of Prayer

More on National Aboriginal Day


National Aboriginal Day



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