Celebrating National Indigenous History Month and National Indigenous Peoples Day

Celebrating National Indigenous History Month
Posted on 06/20/2023

National Indigenous History Month is a time to learn about and celebrate the brilliance of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples. National Indigenous Peoples Day, celebrated on June 21 in alignment with the summer solstice, is an opportunity to further celebrate the invaluable contributions, diverse cultures, and rich heritage of Indigenous peoples in Canada. Please join us over the next few weeks in learning and reflecting upon the history, role models, leaders, accomplishments, and culture of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples.

We acknowledge that the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board’s schools and sites are on unceded and unsurrendered Algonquin Territory. We appreciate and give thanks to the Algonquin Nation, and recognize their enduring presence on this land.

At the OCDSB, we have a year-round responsibility to embed and celebrate the richness and diversity of Indigenous people, traditions, culture (historical and contemporary), and ways of knowing into the everyday lives and learning of students. It is also our responsibility as a District to remain committed to the Calls to Action recommended by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and to teach all students the truth about the ongoing legacy and significant impacts of colonialism, and, in particular, residential schools, including the loss of Indigenous life, language and culture. Alongside the Indigenous Education Team, the District works with Indigenous students, parents and partners to implement and monitor the delivery of Indigenous education in an inclusive and equitable manner that builds our Culture of Caring.

This month, we will be sharing information and resources on our website and social media to help students, staff, and families celebrate National Indigenous History Month and National Indigenous Peoples Day. All are also welcome to reach out to the Indigenous Education Team for additional resources and information. 


Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival

All month long 

The Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival is an annual festival that invites community members to explore music, games, performances, art, food and much more throughout the month of June. Learn more or sign up to be notified of upcoming events. 

Walking Together: (Re)Connecting to Nature through Two-Eyed Seeing, a Webinar with Authors, Elder Albert D. Marshall and Louise Zimanyi

June 6, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. 

In this webinar, Mi'kmaq Elder Albert D. Marshall and Professor Louise Zimanyi will read from and discuss their book, Walking Together. They will share how braiding the strengths of Indigenous and non-Indigenous perspectives together can inspire everyone to nurture respectful, reciprocal, and responsible relationships with the Land and Water, plant-life, animals and other-than-human beings for the benefit of all. Learn more and register

OCDSB Skateboards for Indigenous Youth: Community Showcases 

Wednesday, June 7 from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. at Urban Aboriginal Alternate Program (440 Albert Street); Thursday, June 8 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the National Arts Centre (1 Elgin St in the Canal Lobby)

Students from Urban Aboriginal Alternate and Norman Johnston Alternate programs have come together through a shared spirit of artistic expression, collaborative learning, and helping others in the community. They have created an outstanding set of personal skateboards, in collaboration with local Métis artist Jaime Morse, to provide to Indigenous youth in need in Ottawa. In addition to providing a valuable cultural exchange, the project has given students the opportunity to develop hands-on skills in woodworking, design, painting, drawing, and leadership. Visit one of the two open houses to view and celebrate their work!

Film and Media 

Music, Dance and Art 

Books and Reading

Consult the Storykeepers Indigenous Bookshelf to learn where many of the books listed below can be borrowed or purchased. Your child will also be able to ask about many of these books at their school library. 

  • Walking Together by Elder Dr. Albert D. Marshall & Louise Zimanyi, illustrated by Emily Kewageshig. This picture book introduces readers to the concept of Etuaptmumk—Two-Eyed Seeing, the gift of multiple perspectives in the Mi’kmaw language—as we follow a group of young children connecting to nature as their teacher.
  • Treaty Words for as Long as the River Flows, by Aimée Craft and Luke Swinson: A story about Treaties, the lasting bonds of reciprocity and renewal.
  • Un si beau sourire/A Smile So Big! By Sunshine Quen Tenasco, Illustrated by Chief Lady Bird. A story about a young girl learning to understand her true beauty.
  • Go Show the World, A Celebration of Indigenous Heroes by Wab Kinew: A picture book that celebrates fourteen historical and contemporary Indigenous heroes who have made outstanding contributions to their communities and respective Nations.
  •  Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids by Cynthia Leitich Smith. A collection of intersecting stories by both new and veteran writers. 
  • This Place: 150 Years Retold by Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm: A 296-page graphic novel anthology that showcases 11 Indigenous writers, eight illustrators, and two colour artists.
  • Jonny Appleseed by Joshua Whitehead: A story about a young two-spirit/Indigiqueer character created by Oji-cree two-spirit poet and novelist Joshua Whitehead.
  • Moon on Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice: A post-apocalyptic story about a small northern Anishinaabe community.
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