JUNE 21, 1996

CANADA DECLARES NATIONAL INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DAY (ORIGINALLY NATIONAL ABORIGINAL DAY) 

National Indigenous Peoples Day, a day for recognizing and celebrating the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of its Aboriginal peoples (First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples), was first declared a national holiday in 1996 as National Aboriginal Day.  The effort to create such a day was begun in 1982 by the National Indian Brotherhood (now Assembly of First Nations).  In 1995, the Sacred Assembly, chaired by Elijah Harper, called for a national holiday.  That same year, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples recommended the designation of a National First Peoples Day.  On June 21, 2017, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau renamed this day National Indigenous Peoples Day.  The day is part of the Celebrate Canada program, which includes Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day (June 24), Canadian Multiculturalism Day (June 27) and Canada Day (July 1).  The Government of Canada chose June 21, the summer solstice, for the day.

Source:  "National Aboriginal Day History," Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, 11/17/ 2017.   Retrieved 7/4/2019, https://web.archive.org/web/20171117071912/http://publications.gc.ca/collections/Collection/R32-179-2000E.pdf
Graphic:  University of Fraser Valley, 6/20/2015.  Permissive Use under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en  

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