Every June, Canadians are invited to celebrate the contributions of Indigenous people in Canada by taking part in National Aboriginal History Month events and festivities.
This month, we’re celebrating the region’s Aboriginal History, and we invite you to explore the ways you can immerse yourself in this storied culture. One of those ways is to join in on National Aboriginal Day in Tyendinaga, or plan to experience the Tyendinaga Annual Traditional Pow Wow, which takes place in August.
Consisting of more than 9,000 members (over 2,000 living on the Territory), the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte are the third largest First Nation in Ontario. While their ancestral land is in the Mohawk River Valley, the Mohawks chose this territory on the shores of the Bay of Quinte as recompense for loss of their homelands after the American Revolution and in recognition of their service as allies to the British. Today, the Territory offers historic sites, handcrafted arts, restaurants and is home to events like the Annual Traditional Pow Wow.
Pow Wows are significant events in many Aboriginal communities. Originating on the Great Plains during the late 19th century, these events have been growing in size and popularity ever since. Commonly hosted by First Nations communities, Pow Wows promote cultural pride, respect and health while also providing opportunities for visitors to learn about, and increase their awareness of, traditional and contemporary Aboriginal life.
The Tyendinaga 28th Annual Traditional Pow Wow features a variety of traditional songs and dance as well as local artisan stands selling jewellery and crafts. The Grand Entry is a sight to see, and the food is irresistible. From traditional Indian Tacos and Corn Soup to Burgers and Fries, there is something for everyone.
Quick Facts about National Aboriginal History Month
- First proposed by Elijah Harper in 1995, June was declared National Aboriginal History Month in Canada in 2009
- The Truth and Reconciliation Report’s Calls to Action included many recommendations to bolster public education on the legacy of residential schools, treaties, Indigenous rights, cultural competency, human rights and racism.
- Ontario designated the first week of November as Treaties Recognition Week to promote public education and awareness about treaties and treaty relationships.