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Let’s celebrate National Aboriginal Day!

Published on June 18, 2013

Community-designed tipis from the Tipi Tapestry Project at EBW. Photo: Pamela Schuller.Community-designed tipis from the Tipi Tapestry Project at EBW (Photo: Pamela Schuller)

By Liz George, Anishnaawbekwe, Project Coordinator, EBW

Today in Canada, approximately 1.3 million people self-identify as having First Nations, Metis, Inuit heritage or “Aboriginal” ancestry.

During the month of June, the Indigenous community in Toronto prepares for the summer solstice and a celebration of our diverse cultures with delicious cultural foods like wild game, berries and the ever-famous bannock as National Aboriginal Day draws near. Canada officially recognized National Aboriginal Day as being on June 21 in 1996 in cooperation with Indigenous Turtle Island communities since the summer solstice already held deep significance.

While governmental relationships have fluctuated in their methods of consultation and agreements, Environmental Non-Governmental Organizations (ENGOs) have been partnering with Indigenous groups because they share a common goal: Stewarding the Earth.

With the onset of movements such as Idle No More, and legal political actions to uphold the rights of the Earth and future generations due to recent backward legislation, it is becoming even more apparent that ENGOs and the Aboriginal community have the ability to act in unity, strengthening the message.

Evergreen has been extremely fortunate to partner with many Aboriginal organizations and groups over the years in ways that build on each of our strengths and promote change that starts with individuals.

Although we all still have work to do, and it is only the beginning of the journey, Evergreen strives to promote a collaborative and consultative relationship. From Round Dances with Native Child & Family Services of Toronto, to cooking with the Native Learning Centre, to educational outreach at our Farmers’ Market, to medicine gardening with Miziwe Biik and onsite with Toronto Council Fire, and Drum feasts with First Nations School of Toronto, it has been a truly amazing journey thus far.

This weekend's National Aboriginal Day and Summer Solstice Celebration at Evergreen Brick Works is a celebration to recognize our partners and Indigenous members of Turtle Island and to encourage awareness within Toronto.

Let’s make connections, build bridges of understanding, and spread awareness of the history that is held in the land we all call home.

See you this weekend!