National Indigenous History Month

In June, we commemorate National Indigenous History Month.

National Indigenous History Month invites Indigenous Peoples to celebrate their history in the spirit of pride and preservation. It is a moment in which we as Canadians take time to recognize the rich history, heritage, resilience and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples.

In order to grasp the immeasurable and continued importance of National Indigenous History Month, we must consider the following: Past, present future.

The past. Because understanding and coming to terms with our difficult and painful history is integral to a more equitable, bright and prosperous future for all. Because just one year ago, the remains of 215 children were confirmed at the Kamloops Indian Residential School and, since then, many similar confirmations have been made across Canada. Because sweeping the past under the rug is not an option. Because while there are some wrongs that cannot be made right, it is our responsibility to be in a continuous state of learning.

The present. Because of how far we’ve come, but also how much further we must go, together. In terms of representation within our workplaces, in terms of fighting environmental racism, in terms of tearing down the injustices in our legal system. As media practitioners, we must be conscious of the biases, outdated stereotypes and blind spots that continue to exist. We must commit to continue approaching our work in a way that confronts these issues and changes the industry little by little, but always for the better.

The future. Because hope is the ultimate driving force. Because academia, media, workplaces, etc should be free of micro aggressions, structural racism and any feelings of isolation. It is necessary. It is deserved. Open cultural dialogues are the entryway to rebuilding Indigenous nations and creating a new shared future.

But also, because there is so much to celebrate. Resilience, joy, heritage. Rich history, inspiring figures, immeasurable contributions to literature, film, art. Over the next few weeks, we will be showcasing some recommendations and resource, but we hope this will serve as simply a jumping off point to learn more.