It’s no secret that Turtle Island was heavily populated when European explorers arrived here more than 500 years ago. In the ensuing centuries, though, much awareness of that has been lost. On June 21—the longest day of the year—Canada celebrates National Aboriginal Day, the culmination of Aboriginal History Month and the lead-in to festivities that end in Canada Day, on July 1.
“National aboriginal day is a time for all Canadians to recognize their unique heritage, their diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis people,” explains those appearing in the video below, produced by the federal department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. “It’s a time to celebrate.”
CBC News is celebrating for the entire month, with programs showcasing various aspects of aboriginal history and contemporary life. The Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, as it does annually, is hosting Aboriginal Day celebrations in Winnipeg, Manitoba, known as Aboriginal Day Live. Visit the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development website for a list of events nationwide, and view the video below.