June 21 is recognized as the Summer Solstice and holds cultural significance for many Canadian Indigenous cultures;
In 1982, the National Indian Brotherhood (Assembly of First Nations) called for the creation of a National Aboriginal Solidarity Day to be celebrated on June 21;
In 1990, Québec recognized June 21 as a day to celebrate the achievements and cultures of Canadian Indigenous peoples;
In 1995, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples recommended that a National First Peoples Day be designated;
In 1996, the Governor General of Canada proclaimed June 21 as National Aboriginal Day in response to these calls;
In 2001, Northwest Territories became the first province or territory to recognize June 21 as a statutory holiday; and
In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission called on the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, to establish a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation as a statutory holiday.
We, the undersigned, citizens of Canada, call upon the House of Commons to designate June 21 of each year as a legal holiday to be kept and observed throughout Canada. This day should serve to create and strengthen opportunities for Reconciliation and cultural exchange among Canadians. The day should facilitate connections between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians in positive and meaningful ways. This day should solidify the original intent of National Aboriginal Day as a day for Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.
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