June 21 is National Aboriginal Day, when the heritage and traditions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities are recognized across Canada.
First celebrated 20 years ago, on June 21 1996, the date coincides with the Summer solstice, the longest day of the year, already a significant date for Aboriginal peoples.
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Prior to 1996, the National Indian Brotherhood, now the Assembly of First Nations; the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples; and the Sacred Assembly, a national conference of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people had called for a day to recognize the contributions of Indigenous people.
Aboriginal Day was proclaimed in 1996 by then Governor General Roméo Leblanc.
In Montreal, the ceremony will take place at Place d’Armes with the Buffalo Hat Singers and the Keepers of the Eastern Door, a troupe of 15 dancers. At 11:30am, a parade starting at the corner of St-Jacques and St-Laurent, will move toward Place d’Armes where different songs, speeches and events will take place. nativelynx.qc.ca