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.
February is Black History Month. Throughout this month we celebrate the heritage, traditions, achievements, and culture of people of African descent and diaspora. It’s been officially recognized by the federal government since 1995. Each year CUPW honours an individual, place or story of African heritage.
To mark Black History Month this year, CUPW has produced a poster commemorating Hogan’s Alley, the first and last neighbourhood in Vancouver to be home to a large Black population. The history of Hogan’s Alley recalls the significant contribution of Black Canadians to the country’s advancement.
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 February is a chance for us to reflect on the connections between Black history and our engagement with the living present. It’s not just a month to reflect, and to educate, but also a time to consider the history we are now making, and make sure we take pride in our work for a better future.
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.