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National Aboriginal Day in Canada

Quick Facts

National Aboriginal Day celebrates Canada’s Indigenous culture and the achievements made by the country’s Aboriginal peoples.

Local names

NameLanguage
National Aboriginal DayEnglish
La Journée nationale des AutochtonesFrench
National Aboriginal DayGerman

National Aboriginal Day 2014

Saturday, June 21, 2014 (local in Northwest Territories)
Saturday, June 21, 2014

National Aboriginal Day 2015

Sunday, June 21, 2015
Sunday, June 21, 2015 (local in Northwest Territories)
List of dates for other years

Canada’s National Aboriginal Day is annually held on June 21 to celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding achievements of the nation’s Aboriginal peoples. There are three Aboriginal groups in Canada – the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

Native Indian Dancing

Traditional dancing, music and festivals are part of the National Aboriginal Day celebrations in Canada.

©iStockphoto.com/zennie

What do people do?

Canada’s National Aboriginal Day gives many people the chance to learn more about Aboriginal people and their contributions towards the country’s development and progress. First Nations, Métis and Inuit people have the opportunity to showcase their cultures and achievements throughout Canada on this day.

National Aboriginal Day events are held in every region across Canada. Activities and events include (but are not limited to):

National Aboriginal Day in Canada gives people of all walks of life the opportunity to celebrate and share knowledge about the Aboriginal peoples’ values, customs, languages, and culture.

Public life

National Aboriginal Day is a paid holiday for employees in the Northwest Territories, except those in the Northwest Territories Teachers' Association (NWTTA). It is not a statutory holiday in other parts of Canada. Traffic and parking conditions may be affected in areas where there are large celebrations to commemorate the day.

Background

The Canadian Constitution recognizes three groups of Aboriginal peoples: Indians (First Nations), Inuit and Métis. Although these groups share many similarities, they each have their own distinct heritage, language, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs.

Many people have pushed for a national day to recognize and celebrate Canada’s Aboriginal peoples and cultures prior to 1996. For example, in 1982 the National Indian Brotherhood (now the Assembly of First Nations) called for June 21 to be National Aboriginal Solidarity Day. In 1995 the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples recommended for a National First Peoples Day to be designated. The Sacred Assembly, a national conference of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people, called for a national holiday to celebrate the contributions of Aboriginal peoples.

Canada’s governor general proclaimed the first National Aboriginal Day in 1996. In cooperation with Aboriginal organizations, the Canadian government chose June 21 for National Aboriginal Day because it was on or near the June solstice. Many of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples celebrated their culture and heritage on or near this day for many generations. National Aboriginal Day provides an opportunity to acknowledge the unique achievements of First Nations, Métis and Inuit in fields as diverse as agriculture, the environment, business and the arts.

Note: Any mention of summer in this article refers to summer in the northern hemisphere. Moreover, Timeanddate.com wishes to thank Indian and Northern Affairs Canada for the background information regarding National Aboriginal Day.

External links

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada: National Aboriginal Day

National Aboriginal Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
FriJun 211996National Aboriginal DayObservance 
SatJun 211997National Aboriginal DayObservance 
SunJun 211998National Aboriginal DayObservance 
MonJun 211999National Aboriginal DayObservance 
WedJun 212000National Aboriginal DayObservance 
ThuJun 212001National Aboriginal DayObservance 
FriJun 212002National Aboriginal DayObservance 
FriJun 212002National Aboriginal DayLocal holidayNorthwest Territories
SatJun 212003National Aboriginal DayLocal holidayNorthwest Territories
SatJun 212003National Aboriginal DayObservance 
MonJun 212004National Aboriginal DayLocal holidayNorthwest Territories
MonJun 212004National Aboriginal DayObservance 
TueJun 212005National Aboriginal DayLocal holidayNorthwest Territories
TueJun 212005National Aboriginal DayObservance 
WedJun 212006National Aboriginal DayLocal holidayNorthwest Territories
WedJun 212006National Aboriginal DayObservance 
ThuJun 212007National Aboriginal DayObservance 
ThuJun 212007National Aboriginal DayLocal holidayNorthwest Territories
SatJun 212008National Aboriginal DayLocal holidayNorthwest Territories
SatJun 212008National Aboriginal DayObservance 
SunJun 212009National Aboriginal DayLocal holidayNorthwest Territories
SunJun 212009National Aboriginal DayObservance 
MonJun 212010National Aboriginal DayObservance 
MonJun 212010National Aboriginal DayLocal holidayNorthwest Territories
TueJun 212011National Aboriginal DayObservance 
TueJun 212011National Aboriginal DayLocal holidayNorthwest Territories
ThuJun 212012National Aboriginal DayLocal holidayNorthwest Territories
ThuJun 212012National Aboriginal DayObservance 
FriJun 212013National Aboriginal DayObservance 
FriJun 212013National Aboriginal DayLocal holidayNorthwest Territories
SatJun 212014National Aboriginal DayLocal holidayNorthwest Territories
SatJun 212014National Aboriginal DayObservance 
SunJun 212015National Aboriginal DayObservance 
SunJun 212015National Aboriginal DayLocal holidayNorthwest Territories
TueJun 212016National Aboriginal DayObservance 
TueJun 212016National Aboriginal DayLocal holidayNorthwest Territories
WedJun 212017National Aboriginal DayObservance 
WedJun 212017National Aboriginal DayLocal holidayNorthwest Territories
ThuJun 212018National Aboriginal DayLocal holidayNorthwest Territories
ThuJun 212018National Aboriginal DayObservance 
FriJun 212019National Aboriginal DayLocal holidayNorthwest Territories
FriJun 212019National Aboriginal DayObservance 
SunJun 212020National Aboriginal DayObservance 
SunJun 212020National Aboriginal DayLocal holidayNorthwest Territories

Other holidays in June 2014 in Canada

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