Friday, June 21, is the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, and one where we celebrate the culture and heritage of Canada’s first peoples. The rich tapestry of the myriad traditions that make up over 600 Indigenous nations beckons reflection from us all from which we can draw inspiration. For instance, in the Anishnaabe culture, the strawberry, known as the “heart berry”, is associated with forgiveness in various oral stories. Summer is, therefore, a time for the heart, when we clear out old energy and make room for new possibilities.
The longest day of the year falls on June 21, when the life-giving sun shines longest in the northern hemisphere. Historically, it is revered for the renewal of the cycles of life and the seasons. The Canadian Government has also recognized this day as National Indigenous Peoples Day “to celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding achievements of Canada's Indigenous Peoples.”
Can we have a better future? Can our children and future generations have a secure and holistic future? All is possible. In Canada’s celebration of 150 years of colonialism there are some important questions missing.
First Nations, Métis and Inuit members are represented on the Aboriginal working group of CUPW’s National Human Rights Committee. Each year, the working group directs the creation of a poster for June 21, to express traditional teachings or symbolism from the animals of turtle island. This year’s poster carries the dragonfly.
Every year June 21 marks the Summer Solstice as well as National Aboriginal Day. Though we recognize one day is not sufficient to celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding achievements of Aboriginal peoples, it is an important moment for all First Nation, Métis and Inuit members.
Support Postal Banking - Download and Sign the Petition
Canada needs a postal bank. Thousands of rural towns and villages in our country do not have a bank, but many of them have a post office that could provide financial services. As well, nearly two million Canadians desperately need an alternative to payday lenders. A postal bank could be that alternative. Download and sign the petition urging the Government of Canada to instruct Canada Post to add postal banking, with a mandate for financial inclusion.