Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21)
June 21 has been recognized annually as National Indigenous Peoples Day (formerly National Aboriginal Day) since 1996. For generations, many Indigenous communities have celebrated their culture and heritage on or near this day due to the significance of the Summer Solstice as the longest day of the year. This is a day to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding contributions of Indigenous people.
The City of Saskatoon contributes to the Saskatoon Indian & Métis Friendship Centre Annual Community Celebration:
Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration
Free and open to all
Rock Your Roots Walk for Reconciliation
The City of Saskatoon, in its role as Co-Chair of Reconciliation Saskatoon, helps organize the annual Rock Your Roots Walk for Reconciliation. The significance of a walk can be attributed to the Sunday walks in residential schools; often the only time when siblings and cousins might be reunited. The significance of "rock your roots" is about celebrating your culture and heritage.
Rock Your Roots has been an annual event in Saskatoon since 2016. It's a chance for all Saskatoon residents to answer the TRC Calls to Action by demonstrating their commitment to Reconciliation, honouring Residential School Survivors, and working towards an inclusive community.
Walkers are encouraged to wear an Every Child Matters orange shirt. Cultural performers from our community 'rock their roots' along the route to show their support and celebrate Saskatoon's incredible diversity.
Rock Your Roots 2024
After two years of taking place on Sept. 30, the walk will return to its original home on National Indigenous Peoples Day in 2024.
The Residential School Survivors that direct the walk unanimously agreed to move the Rock Your Roots Walk for Reconciliation back to June 21 so that (1) organizers, participants and Survivors could have more engagement with students and school divisions (Sept. 30 is now a day off school), and (2) to support the many other events and initiatives that are now occurring on September 30—National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
To join the Organizing Committee for the Rock Your Roots Walk for Reconciliation, please email email@example.com.
Rock Your Roots is open to all and is family-friendly. Participants are invited to wear an EveryChildMatters orange shirt or to "rock their roots" and wear their traditional cultural clothing. Workplaces and organizations are encouraged to send a team and to consider showcasing their organization’s support by carrying a banner during the walk.
In recent years, the walk has started at the Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. or CUMFI (315 Ave M S) and ended at the “Where Our Paths Cross” Reconciliation Circle art installation in Victoria Park (across the road from 422 Spadina Cres W). Following the walk, a short program has been held in the park.
Wîcihitowin Indigenous Engagement Conference
(FINAL conference held November 28-29, 2022)
The Wîcihitowin Conference was an annual event between 2014 and 2022 (cancelled in 2020 due to COVID). The purpose was to bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations together to learn from survivors of the residential school system and sixties scoop, and to explore different ways of implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. “Wîcihitowin” is a Cree/Saulteaux term meaning “to help each other/to work together”. The City of Saskatoon was a proud partner of the event through its 8-year duration.
Wîcihitowin was originally planned to be an annual conference for four years. Due to its immense popularity, it was decided that it would be continued for an additional four years. In 2022, the organizers felt that the time had come to take the next step—where individuals and organizations take the learnings they've acquired and use them to lead Reconciliation action in our community.
On Nov. 28-29, 2022, the City helped deliver the 8th and final Wîcihitowin Indigenous Engagement Conference. Thank-you to everyone that contributed or participated in the conference. Recordings of the presentations are available at wicihitowin.ca/category/video.
Indigenous History Month (June)
In June, a number of events are held and resources made available so as to honour and learn from Indigenous Peoples.
June Calendar of Events
|May 29||Reconciliation Flag Raising Event||
The 2023 Reconciliation Flag Raising event will be held on May 29 in Civic Square (area beside City Hall off 23rd St E). The program includes: remarks from dignitaries, performances by Indigenous artists, raising of the flag. All are welcome. The flag remains raised for one week.
|JUNE||Reconciliation Walking Tour||
Indigenous History Month is the perfect time to visit places around Saskatoon that speak to the process of Reconciliation including public art installations, sites of historical significance, renaming initiatives, and unique Indigenous and non-Indigenous partnerships.
More info and Walking Tour Booklet available here.
|JUNE||Read for Reconciliation||
Make a commitment to Read for Reconciliation by accessing suggested materials through the local branch of your Saskatoon Public Library. The SPL website has an Indigenous History Month recommended reads!
Explore BeAConnectR.org Website - Resources for Reconciliation
Reconciliation Saskatoon's BeAConnectR website helps you choose your next steps towards reconciliation. Find calls to action to grow what you know, encourage a shared future, and generate change. Link here.
|JUNE||Art Exhibitions (various)|
|JUNE||Daily Programming at Wanuskewin||
Open 7 days a week, 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Annual offerings in the month of June include: performances, nature walks, exhibits and videos, award winning playground.
NOTE: Programs are adjusted for weather including rain and wind. Call the main line at 306-931-6767 Ext. 9 to confirm the day's schedule.
National Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration
The Saskatoon Indian & Métis Friendship Centre partners with community to host a community celebration in Victoria Park, between 10:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. The City of Saskatoon is participating in this celebration, which is open to all. Info here
Dakota Dunes Resort - Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration
The Dakota Dunes Resort often holds a celebration. Check with the resort to confirm details.
Each June, we celebrate National Indigenous History Month to honour the history, heritage and diversity of Indigenous people. It's also an opportunity to recognize the strength of present-day Indigenous people and their communities. To coincide with 2023 National Indigenous History Month, the City unveiled a new Reconciliation Visual Identity.
City of Saskatoon Reconciliation Visual Identity
The 2023 flag raising event included the unveiling of the City’s new Reconciliation Visual Identity. The design was developed through consultation with community Elders to include significant imagery capturing Saskatoon and our shared journey forward on the path to Reconciliation.
A new community tipi with the visual identity hand painted onto it was also unveiled at the May 29 event. A huge thanks to three young Indigenous artists - Honey Constant-Inglis, Josh Whitecalf, and Autumn Baptiste - who led the tipi painting.
National Day for Truth & Reconciliation (Sept 30)
Since 2013, Canada has recognized September 30 as Orange Shirt Day—a day to acknowledge the impacts of residential schools. In 2021, in the wake of locating unmarked graves at residential schools across Canada, the federal government passed legislation to also designate September 30 as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Wearing orange on September 30 continues to be one way to honour residential school survivors, their families, and those who didn’t make it home.