National Indigenous Peoples Day
Today, June 21 is the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. It has been a time for Indigenous peoples to gather and commemorate since time immemorial and is officially known in Canada as National Indegenous Peoples Day.
The origins of celebrations on or around June 21-24 are ancient and varied. Among the original peoples the Summer Solstice, which according to the Julian calendar falls on June 24, was celebrated by bonfires symbolizing the life-giving power of the sun. Today, these bonfires persist as the oldest symbol of these celebrations. These celebrations also marked the change of seasons and the bounty that came with the warm weather.
In recent years, National Indigenous Peoples Day has also been an occasion for First Nations, Métis and Inuit people, joined by people of all walks of life, to engage in actions to affirm their rights in the face of the colonial arrangements and relations the federal and other levels of government continue to impose.