ACTION: Commit to incorporate National Indigenous Peoples Day, treaty days, cultural days, and other days of cultural significance into your programming and activities.
National Indigenous Peoples Day and days to recognize other peoples and cultures are important for all Canadians to observe. These are days to honour, remember and learn about the contributions and struggles of people who have long resided in BC and your communities.
These days can be commemorated in different ways to celebrate peoples, histories, traditions, diversities, stories, cultures and artists.
When we pause to recognize people and culture in this way, we honour the essence of heritage:
“Stories of the past are our stories… to tell, sing, draw, write and record…. Everyone’s stories are important, and their contributions should be equally valued. For this to happen, everyone needs to be given a voice.” (THE STATE OF HERITAGE)
We offer the following list of activities as inspiration. But we urge you to go beyond our list as you consider the qualities of your site and organization to develop activities that are truly grounded in your community’s unique stories. Of course, it must always be remembered that we do this work with others – not for others.
Recognition of Indigenous Peoples and peoples of other cultures and groups should not be relegated to one day or one month and this type of recognition should be part of a much larger organizational effort. In the heritage sector, it is our responsibility to do this work every day.
Reflect on and learn about the diversity and cultural history of your area. Be intentional. Be a leader.