June 21, 2016 marks the 20th ever National Aboriginal Day in Canada. This day celebrates and recognises the culture and contributions of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples of Canada.
Aboriginal Day is an opportunity to celebrate our identities as Aboriginal peoples, and recognize the struggles we still have to overcome as a result of colonialism. The day is also an opportunity to bring attention to the need for reconciliation in our country, between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.
On Aboriginal Day, communities and organizations across the country celebrate with cultural events. But, as of right now, only the Northwest Territories recognizes Aboriginal Day as a statutory holiday, giving its citizens the opportunity to take part in the celebrations without work obligations.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission called for National Aboriginal Day to be recognized as a statutory holiday in its 94 calls to action. Animikii recently put its support behind this initiative, and is leading the way by giving all of its employees the day off on June 21st.
What do you think—should National Aboriginal Day be a statutory holiday?