National Indigenous Peoples Day

Celebrate Indigenous cultures and traditions with Carnegie Community Centre on National Indigenous Peoples Day

June 17 2021 –

Commemorate National Indigenous Peoples Day and the Downtown Eastside by joining Carnegie Community Centre and UBC Learning Exchange’s online event from noon to 2 pm on June 21.

Event details

This online cultural celebration will begin with a welcome from Squamish Chief Bill Williams and feature livestreamed and pre-recorded performances from Carnegie’s lexwst’i:lem drum group, Children of Takaya dancers, and more. The event will also include a virtual tour with the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art and artist talks with the Museum of Anthropology.

Event details and directions on how to access the accompanying online learning kit will be available on Carnegie’s National Indigenous Peoples Day Facebook  event.

We are deeply grateful for the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations who continue to inhabit and steward these lands every day since time immemorial. We are also grateful for the contributions of Urban Indigenous community members, past, present, and future, in shaping this place called Vancouver.

“We are honoured to support this annual National Indigenous Peoples Day event where people can join online to experience the rich vibrancy of Indigenous music, dance and art,” said Mayor Kennedy Stewart. “Today and every day, I ask all non-Indigenous residents to learn about and honour the cultures, lives, and rights of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples so that we can all work together to advance reconciliation.”

We honour Host Nations and Indigenous Peoples

From June 18 to 30, we will fly 15 Indigenous flags on City Hall’s flag island at 12th and Cambie. Flags from the Musqueam Indian Band, Squamish Nation, and Tsleil-Waututh Nation will fly next to the City of Vancouver flag, in recognition that the city is located on these Nations’ traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories.

Below these, 12 additional flags representing the following will fly:

  • Musqueam Indian Band Two-Spirit Flag
  • Squamish Nation Pride Flag
  • Tsleil-Waututh Nation Rainbow Flag
  • Inclusive Pride Flag (Progress Flag)
  • Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Flag
  • Every Child Matters Flag
  • Indian Residential Schools Survivors Society Flag
  • Metro Vancouver Aboriginal Executive Council Flag
  • Métis Nation Flag
  • Greater Vancouver Native Cultural Society Flag
  • No More Stolen Sisters Flag (designed by Skundaal)
  • National Indigenous Peoples Day Flag (designed by Skundaal)

We are honoured to receive two original designs from Haida artist and master carver Skundaal, who is a long time Downtown Eastside resident and a passionate advocate against the discrimination, abuse, sexual assault, human trafficking, and exploitation of Indigenous and 2SLGBTQ+ women and girls.

Mourning Indigenous children who never returned home

We recognize that discrimination, abuse, and exploitation of Indigenous peoples is over 150 years in the making, and is ongoing. 

We extend our heartfelt condolences to the community of the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation, and Indigenous communities across BC, in joint mourning for the 215 children found buried on the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. We understand these children are among many missing children who went to residential schools and whose unmarked graves are now being found.

Acknowledging the collective grief of Indigenous communities across the country, City Hall and Burrard Bridge will be illuminated orange from 9pm to midnight on National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21), in memory of the many children who never returned home from residential schools. City staff and leadership are grieving alongside our Indigenous colleagues and with Indigenous communities in Vancouver and across Canada. 

This remains a deeply painful time for residential school survivors and their families. We offer the reminder that the Indian Residential School Survivors Society is available for those that may need counselling or support at 1-800-721-0066. A 24-hour crisis line is also available at 1-866-925-4419.

Resources for Indigenous peoples

How you can listen, learn, act

All settlers on this land have a responsibility to understand and address the ongoing impacts of colonization. We encourage residents to learn more about First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities with the following resources:

Our role in the work of reconciliation

As a City of Reconciliation, we remain committed to guiding our work with the 94 Calls to Action identified by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, specifically the calls to action identified in this 2016 Council report (204 KB), and the 231 Calls to Justice identified by the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. 

Recent work in this area includes the hiring of an Indigenous Planner to lead the work of implementing recommendations from Red Women Rising within the city of Vancouver, and the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

This work includes:

  • Reviewing MMIWG Reports and City plans, priorities and policies
  • Outreach to Urban Indigenous Peoples and organizations 
  • Conversations with community members, organizations and advising for and attending national online discussions
  • Supporting local, Indigenous-led grass roots initiatives
  • Engagement with City staff and partners to identify how City work aligns with the reports, where gaps exist and opportunities to implement recommendations

Learn more about our recent work with Indigenous communities, and sign up to receive quarterly updates on anti-racism work

Support Carnegie Community Centre’s programs for Downtown Eastside community members, including Indigenous Peoples in Vancouver.