An Indigenous medicine wheel lays against a dark background with brush-stroked feathers blooming out of it. Photo Credit: APTN Indigenous Day Live

Honouring Indigenous History Month

June 9, 2021

Photo Credit: APTN Indigenous Day Live

To honour Indigenous History Month, we’d like to highlight the huge depth and breadth of work that has been and continues to be done by our Indigenous colleagues in Ontario. The devastating discovery of a mass grave on the Kamloops Indian Residential School in BC is a reminder that reconciliation is an ongoing process and requires active participation and learning, no matter where we’re located on Turtle Island. 

Here are activities honouring Indigenous peoples and opportunities for learning as we remember it’s important to celebrate Indigenous communities, this month and every month, every year.

Woodland Cultural Centre‘s Resources about the history and ongoing impact of Residential Schools

Ongoing, online

This month’s discovery only underlines the importance of saving the evidence about what has happened at Residential Schools and the ongoing impacts on Indigenous communities across Turtle Island. The Woodland Cultural Centre—which serves to preserve and promote Indigenous history, art, language, and culture—sits on the site of the former residential school and runs the Save the Evidence campaign. 

This campaign aims to restore the former Residential School and develop an Interpreted Historic Site and Educational Resource about the impact of the Residential School system on Indigenous communities. Read up on their work, listen to ED Janis Monture’s CBC radio feature highlighting what it means to operate as “a site of conscience,” and tangibly support them by donating if you are able.

An illustration of sky woman: a young woman with dark-toned skin, long black hair blowing in the wind. She wears traditional clothing. She is surrounded by different kinds of birds.
Photo Credit: Sky Woman by fenixcsmar on Flickr

Haudenosaunee Creation Story Kits with the Stratford Public Library

All Day, June 11, online

In this hands-on event for children, the Stratford Public Library is partnering with Patsy Day, teacher and member of the Turtle Clan from the Oneida Nation, who will share about the Haudenosaunee Creation Story! Kids will love that they can pick up take-home kits and make art that compliments the story using things they find in nature.

The City Imagines: Reading the Book, Indigenous Toronto with The Word On The Street Festival

June 17, 7:00–8:30PM, online

Indigenous Toronto is a book exploring the poles of cultural continuity and settler colonialism that have come to define the city as a significant cultural hub. Learn more about the deep foundations of Indigenous history and culture that underpin the city.

A collage of photos of different Indigenous musical artists
Photo credit- APTN Indigenous Day Live

APTN Indigenous Day Live by APTN

June 20, 8-11:30PM, encore: June 21, 2:30-6PM, online

Watch APTN Indigenous Day Live, the nation’s largest event in recognition of National Indigenous Peoples Day, free on APTN Lumi for two days only. Through cultural and musical performances, celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ unparalleled contributions to Canada with this extraordinary line-up of emerging and established musicians, singers, dancers, choreographers, composers, fashion designers, writers, lighting designers, and visual artists.

National Indigenous Peoples Day & Grass Dance Lesson (Grades 1-6) by the Royal Ontario Museum 

June 21, 11:00 – 11:45 am, online

Designed for K-12 students and teachers, each episode of Indigenous Voices features Indigenous ROM educators and guest speakers as they highlight distinct ancestral objects, share stories, and offer arts-based activities that celebrate living Indigenous cultures. Learn more about the Grass Dance with this lesson for kids!

Birch Bark Basket WorkshopFrom Weeds We Grow: Honouring Our Connections – Creating A Caring Vessel, by Myseum of Toronto and STEPS Public Art

June 19, 1-3:00PM, online

Learn how to make birch bark baskets and further explore our connection to the land in this free workshop led by First Nations artist Lindsey Lickers. Hear about the importance of connecting to land, and how to create things using natural materials.

An overhead photo of 3 painted canoe paddles. A fourth sits to the side next to sketched designs, waiting to be painted.
Photo Credit: Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival

Creation Workshops by the Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival 2021

Ongoing, online, $10-20

Join guided Indigenous art workshops with supplies delivered to your door for live virtual workshops for every skill level and interest led by expert instructors! Whether you’re looking to paint, sketch, create a traditional hand drum, or learn how to draw animals and creatures from traditional Indigenous stories, there’s a workshop that is sure to inspire your creative side. Workshop videos are available to view at your convenience for the remainder of the month.

Generous Futures: Indigenous Perspectives Decolonizing by Ryerson University

June 23, 1–2PM, online

Indigenous panelists weigh in on important questions: what does giving look like from an Indigenous lens? Hear from Sky Bridges, CEO of the Winnipeg Foundation, Sarah Midanik, President & CEO of the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund, and Kris Archie, CEO of the Circle on Philanthropy as we consider how we can better understand giving. This panel is moderated by Damien Lee, Assistant Professor & Canada Research Chair in Biskaabiiyang and Indigenous Political Resurgence, Ryerson University.

Header image: APTN Indigenous Day Live