June is National Indigenous History Month and June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day; it is a time to celebrate and honour Indigenous peoples in Canada. These days may also be observed on National Indigenous Peoples Day Sunday (June 16 in 2024).

First Nations people, Inuit and Métis have made their home in what is now called Canada for millennia, caring for the land and water for generations. Indigenous peoples have developed a rich breadth of cultures, languages, spiritual practices, and teachings and had governance structures and complex inter-nation relationships long before the arrival of European settlers. Many Indigenous nations are engaged in preserving and renewing these important parts of identity and community.

Though The Presbyterian Church in Canada has a history of harm to Indigenous people through its legacy of colonization and operating residential schools, including through previously supporting the ban on important Indigenous cultural and spiritual practices, we have been trying to walk a path of reconciliation. Along with the reparations and repentance we are trying to live out, honouring the cultures, languages, spiritual practices, and identities of Indigenous peoples is one important way to do so.

So, on this day and every day, we lift up the rich histories, cultures, languages, and spiritual practices of Indigenous people. We honour the gifts, teachings, and skills of Indigenous people across what is now Canada and give thanks for their care, wisdom, courage, and expertise.

Learn more about Indigenous Ministries within The Presbyterian Church in Canada here.

Learn more about the church’s commitments regarding Indigenous rights, truth, and reconciliation, and find study resources regarding those commitments on the PCC’s Social Action Hub, Indigenous Justice webpage.