June 21st marks a significant and inspiring day for Indigenous peoples around the world. National Indigenous Day is a time to recognize and celebrate the diverse cultures, rich heritage, and invaluable contributions of Indigenous communities. It is a day to honor their resilience, wisdom, and profound connection with the land.
Before diving into the significance of National Indigenous Day, it is essential to acknowledge the painful history and injustices faced by Indigenous peoples. Centuries of colonization, forced assimilation, cultural erasure, and marginalization have left deep scars on Indigenous communities. However, it is through their strength, determination, and resilience that they have preserved their cultures, languages, and traditions.
National Indigenous Day serves as a platform to reclaim and showcase the diverse identities and cultural heritage of Indigenous peoples. It is a time to celebrate their languages, art, music, dance, storytelling, and traditional practices. By promoting and appreciating their cultural expressions, we contribute to the revitalization and preservation of Indigenous traditions for future generations. National Indigenous Day is an opportunity to celebrate their achievements and contributions in various fields, including art, literature, sports, politics, science, and more. By acknowledging and uplifting Indigenous voices, we challenge stereotypes and pave the way for a more inclusive future.
In the face of historical adversity, Indigenous communities have shown remarkable resilience and strength. Take Williams Lake and the St Josephs Mission School as an example. The Cariboo Chilcotin, for example, has been home to so many incredible trailblazers like Phyllis Webstad from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation, who piloted the Orange Day, also known as National Day for Truth and Reconciliation that takes place on September 30th and is now recognized as a statutory holiday in north America. Many storytellers like Lisa Charleyboy from the Tsilqhot’in nation, Bev Sellars from the Xat’sull nation, and artists like Michaela Gilbert from the T’exelc nation.