The 21st of June marks a significant time when Aboriginal People across Canada traditionally gather and celebrate the Summer Solstice. In 1996, the day was officially declared “National Aboriginal Day” (NAD), and in 2009 the month of June was officially declared National Aboriginal History Month, to “recognize the enormous contributions that First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples have made to Canada.” Declaring June as National Aboriginal History Month “Is one small step,” said NDP MP Jean Crowder, who introduced the motion. “Many communities already celebrate National Aboriginal Day on June 21st,” said Crowder, “Now I hope they plan more events to celebrate the history of Aboriginal Peoples in their area and across Canada.”
For the past fourteen years, NAD events in the National Capital Region have created an opportunity for all residents to celebrate the culture and contributions of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples. The Summer Solstice Aboriginal Arts Festival is a family-oriented multi-disciplinary arts festival that began in 2008, and attracts over 45,000 visitors a year. From June 17th to June 21st, Vincent Massey Park is transformed into a living tapestry of our rich and vibrant Aboriginal cultures, both past and present.
For our fifteenth annual celebration in 2011, the NAD committee of Ottawa celebrated National Aboriginal History Month, for the first time, with 21 days of artistic programming in the National Capital Region.
The Summer Solstice Aboriginal Arts Festival is an event that truly represents the cultural diversity of our urban Aboriginal community, with full participation of First Nations, Métis and Inuit artists. This diversity within our own cultures is reflected in all elements of the event, from leadership (National Aboriginal Day Committee of National Aboriginal Organizations), to the selection of artists, representing each of the Aboriginal communities. We stay true to diversity each year, as we include headliners and workshop leaders from the Métis, Inuit and First Nations communities. Get more info here: http://www.ottawasummersolstice.ca/ –