Setting aside a day for Indigenous Peoples is part of the wider recognition of Indigenous Peoples' important place within the fabric of Canada and their ongoing contributions as First Peoples. As former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson said, “It is an opportunity for all of us to celebrate our respect and admiration for First Nations, for Inuit, for Métis — for the past, the present and the future.”
History of National Indigenous Peoples Day
National Aboriginal Day was proclaimed in 1996 by former Governor General Roméo A. LeBlanc. On June 21, 2017, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the intention to rename National Aboriginal Day to National Indigenous Peoples Day.
The day is part of the annual nationwide ‘Celebrate Canada’ period with celebrations centring around National Aboriginal Day, but continuing through St-Jean Baptiste Day, Canadian Multiculturalism Day and concluding with Canada Day.