In recognition of the contributions of First Nation, Métis and Inuit peoples to Ontario, Legal Aid Ontario (LAO), would like to wish everyone a very happy National Aboriginal Day! Participate in the celebration by attending local events or dedicating some time to learning about your local Aboriginal communities and their cultures. Please visit Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada’s website for a list of local events being hosted across the province.
National Aboriginal Day is celebrated every year to honour and recognize the existing rights and valuable contributions of First Nation, Métis and Inuit peoples of Canada. It is no coincidence that the national holiday falls on the summer solstice. For many First Nation cultures, the summer solstice is a time of spiritual cleansing and celebration of the changing season. This day has great spiritual significance to many Aboriginal cultures and symbolizes respect and commitment to the recognition of the different cultures of Aboriginal peoples in Canada.
A Brief History of National Aboriginal Day
- 1982 Assembly of First Nations calls for the creation of June 21st as National Aboriginal Solidarity Day
- 1990 Québec legislature recognizes June 21st as a day to celebrate Aboriginal culture
- 1995 Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples recommends the designation of a National First Peoples Day
- 1996 June 21st is declared National Aboriginal Day by former Governor-General Romeo LeBlanc
- 2013 Chiefs in Assembly pass a resolution calling for the Government of Canada to declare June 21st a national holiday known as Indigenous Peoples Day
Through the dedication of its staff, LAO is committed to recognizing the importance and uniqueness of First Nation, Métis and Inuit people across Ontario. Through its Aboriginal Justice Strategy, the organization aims to achieve measurable improvements to legal aid services for Aboriginal peoples.