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Celebrating National Indigenous History Month

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June is National Indigenous History Month.

At Water First, we are proud to recognize and uphold the rich and diverse histories of the communities we partner with.

First designated by the House of Commons in 2009, National Indigenous History Month is an opportunity to learn, share, and understand more about First Nations, Inuit and Métis traditions and experiences. 

This year, National Indigenous History Month highlights weekly themes.  From artists to activists, look for posts from us throughout the month that feature these four themes:

June 1 to 9: Environment, traditional knowledge and territory
June 10 to 16: Children and youth
June 17 to 24: Languages, cultures and arts
June 25 to 30: Women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people

Focusing on stories and voices that celebrate Indigenous culture, achievement, and resilience, we’ll regularly update a list of these posts here. We’ll also add links to other relevant resources related to our month-long celebration and continuous learning journey.

Water First comes together as a team of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. Our own learning journey is enthusiastic and ongoing. Whether on land, in the water, or at our desks, we strive to invite and include diverse and unique Indigenous cultural perspectives in all of our work. Most recently, Water First staff gathered to participate in a morning of Inuit cultural awareness training that we will not soon forget. It is a privilege for us to be able to continue this learning, and to nurture the relationships that this awareness supports.

What will you discover this National Indigenous History Month?

Understanding the history of the lands we live on

Understanding the history of the lands we live on — both traditional territories, which have been used for generations, and treaty lands, defined by negotiations and agreements — is one of the many important aspects of reparations.

Treaties outline the responsibilities of those living on these lands. So, what does this mean for you and me? Living on traditional and treaty lands involves not only knowing their history, but also reflecting on what it means to live there and how, together, we can uphold these agreements.

Start by discovering the traditional territory and treaty lands you live on. Visit whose.land to learn more!

Celebrating Anishinaabe Giizhigad

On June 6th, we honour and celebrate Anishinaabe Giizhigad, the national holiday for the Anishinabek Nation.

Anishinaabe Giizhigad, or Anishinaabe Day, celebrates and honours Anishinaabe identity, history, traditions, and diverse ways of being. It is celebrated by the approximately 65,000 people hailing from the union of 39 First Nations in Ontario as a reflection of the proclamation of Anishinaabe Chi-Naaknigewin, the Nation’s constitution.

Through ceremony, the Anishinaabe Chi-Naaknigewin was ratified by the Anishinabek Nation Chiefs-in-Assembly in Sheguiandah First Nation on June 6, 2012. It is a sacred commitment by Anishinabek to the Creator to live by Ngo Dwe Waangizid Anishinaabe (One Anishinaabe Family) and implement our traditional governance.

The proclamation of the Anishinaabe Chi-Naaknigewin marked a historic moment for the Anishinabek Nation. It is a commitment, with the support of the people, to establish a traditional government that will develop laws and policies for the protection and the betterment of Anishinabek.

We honour and celebrate Anishinaabe Giizhigad and our Anishinaabe staff and community partners.

Image of the northern lights with the spectrum of the rainbow overlaid on it.

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