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National Indigenous Peoples Day

National Indigenous Peoples Day 2023, 2024 and 2025

National Indigenous Peoples Day is a statutory holiday every 21 June in Northwest Territories and Yukon to appreciate the cultures of the Inuit, Metis, and “First Nations”.

YearDateDayHolidayProvinces and Territories
202321 JunWedNational Indigenous Peoples Day NT & YT
202421 JunFriNational Indigenous Peoples Day NT & YT
202521 JunSatNational Indigenous Peoples Day NT & YT
202621 JunSunNational Indigenous Peoples Day NT & YT
Please scroll down to end of page for previous years' dates.

There was a long, hard-fought movement to finally get a holiday on the Canadian calendar to celebrate the contribution of aboriginal groups to Canadian life, culture, and history. June 21 was chosen as the date for a couple of reasons. First, it is the day of the summer solstice, which means it is warmer than usual in Northwest Territories and other far-north areas of the nation. Second, many aboriginal tribes already had traditional celebrations of their heritage on June 21.

In Northwest Territories, the Dene, Inuvialuit, and Metis are the main specific Indian tribes honoured on National Indigenous Peoples Day. In Yukon, key First Nations tribes include the Gwitchin, Han, Northern and Southern Tutchone, Kaska, Tagish, and Tlingit. These groups each have their own language, culture, and history. There are festivals throughout Canada, and especially in Northwest Territories, that educate and entertain by showcasing the song, dance, art, games, foods, and other traditional cultural features of the various aboriginal groups.

Some of the types of activities that abound on National Indigenous Peoples Day include: summer solstice celebrations, barbecues, social gatherings with native singing and dancing, scared fire-extinguishing ceremonies, and traditional-style feasts, where such “dainties” as moose stew and flat, “fry (pan-fried) bread” are served.

Previous Years

YearDateDayHolidayProvinces and Territories
202221 JunTueNational Indigenous Peoples Day NT & YT
202121 JunMonNational Indigenous Peoples Day NT & YT
202021 JunSunNational Indigenous Peoples Day NT & YT
201921 JunFriNational Indigenous Peoples Day NT & YT
201821 JunThuNational Indigenous Peoples Day NT & YT
201721 JunWedNational Indigenous Peoples Day NT & YT