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This month, celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day with us. 

National Indigenous Peoples Month helps Canadians to recognize and celebrate the heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people.  National Indigenous Peoples Day falls on June 21, the summer solstice, because the summer solstice is the longest day of the year and holds significance for many Indigenous people.

We encourage you to take the time this month to learn about the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada, Indigenous contributions to Canada, reconciliation and more. Below are a few suggestions for ways you can do so virtually or in-person.

Happy National Indigenous Peoples Month!

Stay safe,
Anja, Canoo’s Membership Officer

P.S. As a reminder, we are currently considering various options in regards to supporting Canoo members like you who have had their membership affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are currently working with our stakeholders to implement solutions, and we will update members like you shortly.

Above Image: Marven Tallio. Transformation Mask. n.d., cedar root, fibre, shall and cedar. Canadian Museum of History, Gatineau (VII-D-477). Photo: NGC

Some venues are re-opening to the public; be sure to check the website of a venue before visiting to learn about their re-opening. Please remember to practice proper social distancing when visiting a venue, historic site or park in-person, and consider visiting venues virtually (online) instead!

1.  Ska-Nah-Doht Village & Museum (Mount Brydges, ON)
2. Portage College Museum of Aboriginal Art and Artifacts (Lac La Biche, AB)
3. Southwold Earthworks National Historic Site (Iona, ON)
4. Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump (Fort Macleod, AB)
5. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights (ONLINE; Winnipeg, MB)
6. The Canadian Museum of History (ONLINE; Ottawa, ON)
(pictured right, 2017)

The Edge of Indigenous Art
The Sydney Biennale of Art is an international festival of contemporary art held every two years in Sydney, Australia. Theme of this year’s event is Nirin, a word from the Wiradjuri language that means “edge”. Though it was cut short due to health concerns, the Biennale was still opened with aabaakwad – an international gathering of Indigenous artists, curators and thinkers, founded by the Art Gallery of Ontario’s curator of Indigenous Art, Wanda Nanibush. In this AGO article, Wanda Nanibush shares her experience and the importance of art amidst crisis. Photo: Lori Blondeau, Lonely Surfer Squaw (1997), digital photograph. Photo credit: Bradlee LaRocque

Take a Virtual Tour of Áísínai’pi Writing on Stone National Historic Site
Áísínai’pi Writing on Stone National Historic Site is an important sacred site for Indigenous peoples.  In this immersive virtual reality (VR) experience, Sacred Teachings: Áísínai’pi | Writing on Stone, Blackfoot Elder Saakokoto Randy Bottle joins Blackfoot actor Eugene Brave Rock to bring audiences on a guided journey through this beautiful landscape. Note: While this VR experience requires an Oculus headset and software, there is a video available that gives the rest of us a taste of this extraordinary place.  Photo: Shield-bearing warrior and the distant Sweetgrass Hills © Alberta Parks

On the Artful Path: This Song is a Museum
Did you know that the Museum of Anthropology (MOA) in Vancouver is home to not only historical ethnographic objects, but also an impressive and growing collection of works by contemporary artists? In this article, learn about one of these contemporary works, an elk-skin drum that is also a visual record of a collaboration between Peter Morin and Hwieumten, Fred Roland. Photo: This Song is a Museum, by Peter Morin (2011). MOA Collection: 2932/5. Photo: Kyla Bailey

Acts of Resistance
The Museum of Vancouver (MOV) is offering a virtual tour of their newest feature exhibition Acts of Resistance, showcasing the artwork of seven Indigenous artist activists from the Pacific Northwest, whose designs flew from the Iron Workers Memorial bridge on July 3, 2018 to protest the Trans Mountain Expansion Pipeline project. Swaysən, Will George, a Tsleil-Waututh grassroots leader not only designed one of the featured banners, but also rappelled from the Second Narrows bridge as part of the seven-person aerial blockade to prevent an oil tanker from leaving the terminal. In this exhibition, Will George shares his firsthand experience as a member of the aerial blockade in a video created in collaboration with multimedia artist Ronnie Dean Harris, whose artwork also flew in the path of tanker traffic.

Rêver Pour Créer
For our membres living in Quebec, the Institut du nouveau monde invites you to dream collectively of the society for tomorrow, with the support, among others, of Canoo partners the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts and the McCord Museum. Share your ideas, your hopes and your ambitions for the society of 2040! Discover the richness of the dreams we’ve collected so far on the platform reverpourcreer.ca (in French only) and add your own contribution. In these uncertain times, let’s dare to dream of a more inclusive tomorrow.

Meet Canoo member Joy Abasta who became a Canadian citizen in February 2020. As a new citizen, Joy is actively and continuously learning about the Indigenous Peoples in Canada. She believes that while new immigrants and new citizens have much to contribute to the Canadian society, it is also important to acknowledge that we all have to work together towards decolonization and reconciliation with the Indigenous Peoples to be a truly inclusive and progressive country. Learn more about Joy and her experiences here.

Globe and Mail columnist André Picard on 6 Degrees Live
“What this epidemic has shown is that we have some disposable citizens. There are people we put off in these homes and we forget about. Nobody should be a disposable citizen, everybody should live to the greatest of their ability…we should all be citizens with equal rights or equitable rights.” André Picard shared in a powerful conversation with our CEO Yasir Naqvi on 6 Degrees Live last week. Watch the full conversation. And make sure you check out this week’s 6 Degrees Live featuring Mexican journalist and author Plaqueta on June 2. Follow us at instagram.com/inclusion.ca

#StandTogether: Share the Video
Two weeks ago, we launched the #StandTogether Video. During the pandemic, this video is our message of unity against the rise in anti-immigrant discrimination. It is our thank you to every new Canadian, immigrant, foreign seasonal worker, every frontline worker for your help. In a time when we’re being told to keep a distance, it’s more important than ever that we #StandTogether. Watch the video here!

There will be no citizenship ceremonies this month
Typically, we at the Institute for Canadian Citizenship invite you to attend community citizenship ceremonies organized by us; Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada; and other partners all over Canada each month. However, at this time, all citizenship ceremonies are on hold. Please keep an eye on our social media and website for updates as to when we will resume our enhanced citizenship ceremonies.