National Indigenous Peoples Month
June is National Indigenous Peoples Month, and June 21 marks National Indigenous Peoples Day.
This year, across the university we honour the history, culture, resilience and contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples to SFU and across Canada.
Find a guide to events, resources, stories and ways to get connected below.
Be sure to check this page throughout the month as we add new events and additional updates.
Why National Indigenous Peoples Month?
Our Indigenous community at SFU has begun to recognize the month of June as “National Indigenous Peoples Month” rather than “National Indigenous History Month,” as this is a more meaningful representation of what we are celebrating.
The word “history” can perpetuate the common misconception that Indigenous peoples are only in the past, however, this is not the case as we are still around today. The use of National Indigenous Peoples Month is intended to better encapsulate not only our history, but present-day culture and knowledges. We use this time to celebrate the cultures and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada.
While this language is a slight departure from “National Indigenous History Month”, created by the Government of Canada, it reflects the shift in emerging terminology and recognizes the diversity across Turtle Island.
Indigenous Student Centre
Take the 3rd annual OAP Ultimate National Indigenous Day quiz (Is now closed)
Are you ready to test your knowledge of all things Indigenous? Take the 3rd annual Ultimate National Indigenous Peoples Month Quiz and you’ll be entered to win a gift card. There are categories for children and adults. Deadline is June 29, and the winners will be announced on July 5, 2022 and posted in the next Syetsem newsletter. Thanks to all who participated!
Attend an Event
- Honouring Feast
June 6 | Indigenous Student Centre (ISC)
The ISC Honouring Ceremony is a special event for Indigenous students, held each year to honour and celebrate their degree completion at SFU.
- Moving towards building a reconciliation action plan: Indigenous inclusion with employers
June 7 | Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion
CCDI sits down with Indigenous Works to discuss frameworks and strategies to build more inclusive workplaces for Indigenous Peoples.
- Brodie Douglas
June 9 | BCCDC, SFU Faculty of Health Sciences
Brodie Douglas, Métis historian, looks at colonialism from a Métis lens and will show why history matters when considering Métis Health.
- Talking Stick Festival
June 12 - July 2 | Full Circle, SFU Woodwards
The Talking Stick Festival, now in its 21st year, began as a way to showcase and celebrate Indigenous art and performance to a wider audience. From its humble beginnings, this unique and exciting event has grown into a full two-week Festival at locations across Vancouver.
- National Indigenous People's Month ArtsLive
June 15 (Surrey), June 20 (Vancouver), June 23 (Burnaby) | ISC, FNMISA, SFU ArtsLive
Join us for special performances of dance, song, traditional drumming and much more to celebrate and showcase the diversity of Indigenous peoples through arts and culture.
- The Evolving Indigenous Relationship
June 17 | BCCDC, SFU Faculty of Health Sciences
Carol-Anne Hilton, author of Indigenomics, brings this presentation focusing on fundamental aspects to the changing Indigenous relationships, including Indigenous socio-economic gap, the context for reconciliation and key concepts in advancing the Indigenous relationship.
- Decolonizing Education and Institutionalizing Indigenous Cultural Safety
June 20 | SFU Vancouver
In this session with educator, activist and consultant Len Pierre, examine the context for colonialism in higher education, how to address it, and embed Indigenous Cultural Safety in pedagogy, practice, and policy.
- Surrey's National Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration & Wellness Event
June 21 | Semiahmoo First Nation, Kwantlen First Nation, Katzie First Nation, City of Surrey, SFU Surrey, SFU Office for Aboriginal Peoples
An opportunity to acknowledge and show respect and admiration for Indigenous Peoples past, present and future; to share cultural history; and to share spirit, experiences, stories, song, art and dance with each other and the community. The in-person event will include cultural sharing from the local First Nations and Nova Métis with teachings and practice through art, music, storytelling and dance.
- My Journey as an Indigenous Biochemist - With Dr. Dustin King
June 21 | SFU Faculty of Science
As part of the 3rd annual Indigenous Science Speakers Series at SFU, Dr. Dustin King will speak on his experiences decolonizing STEM
- Indigenous Voices Awards 2022
June 21 | Indigenous Voices Awards
A literary contest that honours the sovereignty of Indigenous creative voices and supports and nurtures the work of Indigenous writers in lands claimed by Canada, the Indigenous Voices Awards have awarded nearly $110,000 to emerging Indigenous writers over the past four years. The Indigenous Voices Awards are co-chaired by SFU professors Deanna Reder and Sophie McCall.
- Decolonizing the Shoreline
June 22 | SFU Centre for Dialogue
Explore solutions for urban development and ecological revitalization in the False Creek floodplain, based on Indigenous knowledge that has defined and protected the health of our coastal waters since time immemorial, and must be re-established to navigate the conversations and ideas around adaptation to sea level rise.
- Circling Together for Wellness: A Virtual Gathering Upholding Indigenous Knowledge
June 23 | SFU Public Square, First Nations Health Authority
A virtual gathering to celebrate Indigenous storytelling and explore ways of sharing Indigenous knowledge that are determined by Indigenous people and grounded in traditional, local and cultural protocols.
- Trail Mix Nature Walk
June 28 | ISC, FNMISA
This Trail Mix Nature Walk is open to all members of the SFU community! Lead by Gary George, he will take folks for a walk around Lhuḵw’lhuḵw’áyten “‘where the bark gets pe[e]led’ in spring” [Skwxwu7mesh (Squamish) language placename for Burnaby Mountain].
- Indigenous Market
June 29 | ISC, FNMISA
The Indigenous Market is a venue for Indigenous artists, makers and entrepreneurs to showcase and sell their products. From beaded jewelry, apparel, home care, wellness and much more - the Indigenous Market will offer a little bit of something for everyone.
Read Community Stories
SFU biochemist weaves western science with Indigenous ways of knowing June 16, 2022
SFU Science’s 3rd annual Indigenous Science Speaker Series features Dr. Dustin King, who is...
What do Unceded Lands really mean? New course at SFU – Treaties in Canada – teaches colonial legislation, Indigenous leadership, and more June 15, 2022
Simon Fraser University’s (SFU) Department of Indigenous Studies introduces a new course this...
Indigenous Voices at SFU May 31, 2022
Throughout the month of June, the Library will share the words from Indigenous students and staff...
SFU Surrey Alumni Feature: Meet Kim Baird May 31, 2022
Kim Baird is the former chief of Tsawwassen First Nation and received an honorary degree from SFU...
SFU Surrey Alumni Feature: Meet Len Pierre April 04, 2022
Len has just completed his Masters of Education Degree in December 2021. Born and raised in Surrey...
SFU Surrey Alumni Feature: Meet Megan Rosso February 16, 2022
Megan Rosso is a Carrier Sekani woman from the Lake Babine Nation, in Northern interior of...
Chris (Syeta’xtn) Lewis joins SFU in advisory role on Indigenous Initiatives and Reconciliation February 08, 2022
Over a long and meaningful connection with SFU, Chris (Syeta’xtn) Lewis has served in an...
SFU Surrey Alumni Feature: Meet Amanda Willis January 28, 2022
After completing SFU Surrey’s first cohort of the Interactive Arts and Technology program in 2006,...
People of SFU: Meet Lindsay Heller, fellow at the SFU Centre for Dialogue February 04, 2022
Lindsay Heller discusses two-eyed seeing, decolonizing university spaces, and the power of...
SFU joins Indigenous-led research initiative tackling biodiversity decline across the globe January 12, 2022
Researchers from Simon Fraser University will play a key role in a major initiative aimed...
Special Edition: Office for Aboriginal Peoples annual newsletter January 11, 2022
The annual SFU Office for Aboriginal Peoples newsletter has arrived. This special edition...
SFU Professor Deanna Reder wins Dr. Ambedkar Arts & Literature Award December 20, 2021
Deanna Reder, Associate Professor in the Departments of English and Indigenous Studies, has...
Scholarly Impact of the Week: Counselling with care to heal Indigenous trauma November 16, 2021
Counselling psychology professor and practitioner Alanaise Goodwill brings Indigenous approaches to...
Indigenous Student Centre Book Club: An immersive experience in culture, knowledge and traditions October 29, 2021
The Indigenous Student Centre book club brings together diverse perspectives in the Indigenous...
People of SFU: Meet Dorothy Christian, associate director of Indigenous Policy and Pedagogy, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies September 28, 2021
If you ever sit down with Dorothy Cucw-la7 Christian, you’ll hear stories about her life,...
People of SFU: Meet Gary George, Officer for Community Relations, Office for Aboriginal Peoples October 08, 2021
Gary George has worked at SFU's Burnaby campus for over a decade, supporting Indigenous faculty,...
"Learn to walk with your head up and smile": a Conversation with Elder Margaret George June 17, 2021
Elder Margaret George shares her story and words of advice for students.
Watch Engaging Speakers
Sarah Augustine: Dismantling to Rebuild, Dorothy Christian: Conversations with Indigenous Graduate Students
Sdahl K'awaas (Lucy Bell): Sterling Prize Winner, Eva Jewell: Taking Action! Speaker Series, Spry Memorial Lecture, Library Dean's Lecture, Alanaise Onischin Goodwill: President's Faculty Lecture, Indigenous, Rural & Remote Communities: Overcoming Digital Divides
An Unbroken Line: Haida Art and Culture, Tamara Starblanket: Sterling Prize Winner, Dr. Deanna Reder: President's Faculty Lecture, Heritage and Knowledge: Decolonizing the Research Process
Learn Something New
- Visit the reconciliation website for a summary of SFU’s commitments and actions to reconciliation report: the Walk this Path with Us Report, the annual progress reports in full, resources, including courses that cover the topic of residential schools and ideas for action individuals can take.
- Read President Joy Johnson’s personal commitment to reconciliation at SFU.
- Browse SFU Library's collection of books and films by and about First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people in Canada
- Check out the in-person displays at Bennett Library (Burnaby) and Fraser Library (Surrey)
- Discover a comprehensive list of resources and recommendations about economic reconciliation and engaging more deeply with Indigenous histories and perspectives from Sxwpilemaát Siyám (Chief Leanne Joe), Lackett Joe Hereditary Chief of the Squamish Nation and the transformative storyteller for economic reconciliation at SFU’s Community Economic Development Program
- Dorothy Cucw-la7 Christian, Associate Director, Indigenous Policy & Pedagogy for Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies shares words about National Indigenous Peoples Month—find resources on and watch videos of some of the work undertaken by and for Indigenous graduate students to decolonize the University
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