Five ways to participate in National Indigenous History month in Canada


As we enter National Indigenous History Month in Canada this June 2024, questions still remain for many Canadians. 

What is National Indigenous History Month and why do we need it? 

How can we celebrate National Indigenous History Month? 

What steps can I take toward reconciliation? 

It’s not just non-Indigenous people asking these questions. As an Indigenous person myself, from the Muskeg Lake Cree Nation in Saskatchewan, I’ve had questions too.

Photo: Jaiden George
Tla-o-qui-aht totem, on the site of Tla-o-qui-aht owned Tin Wis Resort, Tofino.

So, as we embark on National Indigenous History Month 2024, we invite you to take some time to embrace this rich and intricate culture that dates back thousands of years back to when Canada wasn’t even a daydream yet. 

We’ll start with some FAQs, and then I’ll share some ideas on how you can walk your own path toward reconciliation. 

When is National Indigenous History Month in Canada? 
June was first recognized as National Indigenous History Month in Canada in 2009, growing out of National Indigenous People’s Day (June 21, the summer solstice). 

Why do we need to celebrate National Indigenous History Month? 
For many years, education surrounding Indigenous history was not a priority, and some of the history that was shared was incomplete or in some cases, inaccurate. 

The month of June is dedicated to honouring the culture, history, languages and diversity of Indigenous People in North America, in order to increase awareness and understanding around Indigenous culture and issues.

Which leads us to the big question many of us are asking: 

How can I participate in Indigenous history month, and continue on the path to reconciliation?

Five ways to embrace Indigenous Culture and reconciliation

Many reading this may already be walking the path. For you, the question isn’t necessarily why, but what. What are some of the things we can do to support reconciliation and further our understanding? Here are five ideas.

1. Learn Indigenous History 

Now is your opportunity to break that cycle of misinformation and become educated on Indigenous history through online courses and resources that are offered free of charge and can be taken at any time:  

University of Alberta - Indigenous Canada Course 
12 courses, 24 hours of studying, one improved perspective about Indigenous people in 

Canada Canadian Museum of History - Traditional Stories 
Listen along to narratives of the world and how First Nations people came to live in it.

2. Learn Indigenous Languages 

Did you know there are over 630 Indigenous Nations in Canada? These Nations represent over 50 nations and over 50 Indigenous languages. 

Take some time to learn some of these Indigenous Languages thanks to SayITFirst Indigenous Language Lessons free online videos. 

3. Learn the traditional territories of Indigenous People 

Educating yourself on the people and history is a great start, but to truly embrace this month, it is important to understand that the land you walk on is the traditional territory of an Indigenous Nation. 

5. Attend Indigenous Events 

The last thing we recommend you do this June is to start attending Indigenous events near you! 

By going out and attending these events, not only can you learn the culture, history, and languages of local Indigenous peoples, but you will find great fun and friendship in the welcoming ways of the community.

Here are some to check out. 

June 7/8, 14/15, 22, 28/29 Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation's naaʔuu / Tofino, BC

June 14 - 16  Chief William Fathers Day Traditional Pow Wow / Williams Lake, BC

June 21  National Indigenous Peoples Day
To find a National Indigenous Peoples Day event close to you, check out websites for Indigenous Tourism Alberta, Alberta, or Indigenous Tourism BC.

June 21 K'ómoks Festival / Courtney, BC

June 21 - 22  Alberta Métis Fest / Métis Crossing, AB

June 21 - 23  Grande Prairie Traditional Pow Wow / Grande Prairie, AB

June 28 - 20 Kamloopa Powwow

Continue on the path to reconciliation

If National Indigenous History month events inspire you to learn more, read on to find more Indigenous travel and cultural experiences in Alberta and BC

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