There’s still a few months to go until June, but the Vernon School District is already making plans for Indigenous History Month.
June was formally declared National Indigenous History Month in 2009, providing an opportunity to observe and celebrate the history of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples in Canada.
Carly Hills, School District 22 Indigenous education lead teacher, is inviting individuals, non-profits, local professionals and businesses in the North Okanagan to showcase Indigenous culture throughout the month of June.
“Last year we created a robust resource for teachers and students curated by the SD22 Aboriginal Education Department on everything from food and cuisine, to the Indian Act, to professional learning and so much more,” said Hills.
A number of organizations have already signed on to showcase Indigenous culture in different ways in June, including the Okanagan Regional Library, the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre and the Museum and Archives of Vernon (MAV).
“We’re thrilled to collaborate with SD22 to honour and celebrate the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada with the hopes that we can better understand our collective histories,” said Amy Timleck, program coordinator at MAV. “Having the opportunity to work with others in the Vernon area who are committed to amplifying Indigenous voices feels really special and we’re thrilled to be offering programs in June that do just that.”
MAV’s Indigenous History Month programming will include musical performances, films, a speakers’ panel and some family friendly events.
“Ultimately, it always comes back to building relationships,” said Hills. “I’m really inspired by how many people are eager to celebrate and honour First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples in Canada and the creative ways that they are approaching it within their businesses.”
SD22 will be putting together an interactive calendar showing where and when events are happening in June. People who would like to contribute or are looking for ways to participate are invited to contact Hills at email@example.com.