June 21 marks National Indigenous Peoples Day—a day to celebrate the vibrant and thriving cultures of Indigenous Peoples across Canada. Established in 1996, National Indigenous Peoples Day was established as a day to recognize the diverse cultures, knowledge systems and contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples.

June 21 is the longest day of the year and is the first day of summer. On this day, many Nations come together—often outdoors—to celebrate their cultures, whether they are living in their communities or away from home.

The month of June also marks National Indigenous History Month, an opportunity to celebrate the strength and resiliency of First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities, families and individuals.

It’s important for us to remember and acknowledge that before the time of contact—since time immemorial—local First Nations and all Indigenous Peoples had healthy, vibrant and self-determining governing systems, cultures and communities here in what is now known as Canada.

“While we always carry with us and acknowledge the harms – past, present and ongoing – of colonialism, today is a celebratory day. This is a day on which we recognize that Indigeneity is healing, strengthening, and protective. We honour our culture and our resiliency, hold our hands up to Indigenous leaders, scholars, Elders, Knowledge Keepers and matriarchs, and have lots of laughs and eat delicious Indigenous food as Indigenous peoples love to do,” says Harmony Johnson, Vice President of Indigenous Wellness and Reconciliation.

This day is also an opportunity for each of us at Providence Health Care (PHC) to reflect on our work and honour the commitment that we make every single day to uphold the dignity and well-being of the Indigenous patients we serve and to embed reconciliation “in everything we do.”  To further your own ongoing learning, staff are encouraged to check out the list of recommended resources compiled by the Indigenous Wellness and Reconciliation Team.

Here is a great list of resources for you and your families to celebrate Indigenous artists, food and events happening right here in Vancouver throughout the month of June.