National Indigenous Peoples Day

What you need to know

June is National Indigenous History Month, and June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day. Learn about:

The Governor General of Canada proclaimed June 21 as National Indigenous Peoples Day in 1996, an occasion for Canadians to come together, reflect on and celebrate the unique heritage, traditions, and knowledge of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples.

We formally acknowledge that we are on the unceded traditional homelands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations and we are deeply grateful for those who have continued to inhabit and steward these lands every day since time immemorial.

The contributions of Indigenous Peoples to Vancouver’s past, present, and future are profound but often not well recognized. First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples make vital contributions to advancing arts, culture, equity, safety, and community well-being throughout the city of Vancouver. We are grateful for the contributions of Urban Indigenous community members, past, present, and future, in shaping our city.

Artwork created by Melaney Gleeson-Lyall (Point)

Artist bio

The artwork for National Indigenous Peoples Day 2024, Grandmother Moon, was created by Melaney Gleeson-Lyall (Point), who is a spiritual being embodied as a strong Indigenous woman living between 2 worlds and 2 cultures.

She is an artist, author, and designer, and a descendant of the Musqueam, Snaw'naw'as, and Lyackson Nations, of the Coast Salish peoples of the Pacific Northwest. As a Sixties Scoop survivor, Melaney is reclaiming her culture and heritage. She lives on the unceded land of her ancestors, at Musqueam, also known as Vancouver, BC.

Artist's statement 

“Grandmother Moon represents my late sister, Kat Norris. Kat was an Indigenous matriarch who was an advocate for those living on the margins and an Indigenous Activist. She was a respected Coast Salish elder who shared teachings, story and truth telling with the community of the DTES, East Van, and across the city of Vancouver.

The face of the moon represents Kat who will always be watching over us and the wolves represent the family and community whose lives she touched near and far. The border is my Salish Eye representing the teachings and legacy of our ancestors.”