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20th Anniversary Of National Aboriginal Day – June 21

Victoria/Ottawa/Fraser Valley – The B.C. government is encouraging all British Columbians to participate in their local National Aboriginal Day celebrations on June 21 as a means of fostering reconciliation through awareness of Aboriginal culture and achievements.

On its 20th anniversary, communities throughout Canada recognize and celebrate the rich traditions and diverse cultures of Aboriginal people. There are more than 100 events being held across British Columbia on and around June 21.

“National Aboriginal Day is a great occasion for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people to come together,” said John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation. “They do so in the spirit of reconciliation and in the recognition of Aboriginal peoples’ contribution to our society in the past, the present and the future. I believe we are moving to a time when we will recognize the importance of reconciliation every day of the year.”

National Aboriginal Day was first proclaimed by the Governor General of Canada Roméo LeBlanc on June 13, 1996.

Provincial government celebrations get underway on June 20 with a feast and honouring ceremony for First Nations, Métis and Inuit public servants at Government House.

National Aboriginal Day celebrations are being held throughout British Columbia. View a list of events at:

Quick Facts:

  • There are 203 First Nations communities in British Columbia who have 34 languages and 61 dialects, more than any other province in Canada. Of the more than 232,000 Aboriginal people in B.C., the 2011 National Household Survey reported that 67% are First Nations, 30% are Métis and just under one per cent are Inuit. Aboriginal youth are the fastest-growing demographic in British Columbia.
  • The provincial government is committed to fostering a public service focused on reconciliation, and is working toward a number of intercultural competency training initiatives in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s call to action on training and development of public servants.
  • This fall, the Aboriginal Youth Internship program celebrates a significant milestone as the 10th class of interns join government. The program provides opportunities for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit youth to gain valuable work experience in government and community organizations that serve Aboriginal people. The program is a partnership between the BC Public Service Agency and the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation.

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