National Indigenous History Month

collage of indigenous photos

National Indigenous History Month at Waterloo

The month of June is National Indigenous History Month. It is the shared responsibility of all peoples on this land to acknowledge Canada’s historic and ongoing colonial relationship with diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, and actively work within our own spaces, communities, places of work, and families to advance the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action.

On May 28, 2021 the remains of 215 children were found at the site of a Kamloops residential school. That number has risen drastically as more sites are investigated. As we reach the one year anniversary, It is imperative that we continue to acknowledge and honour the lives of each of these children - and thousands of others - while acknowledging and addressing the ongoing impacts of these losses for communities across this country.

Learn more about residential school systems in Canada, and their historic and ongoing impacts.

During National Indigenous History Month, we must also recognize the varied historic achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, as well as present contributions on campus and beyond. This is a time for us all to celebrate and strengthen our knowledge about the diversity of experiences within First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and communities.

National Indigenous People’s Day takes place on June 21st, the summer solstice. Learn more about this day. 

Across the land, First Nations will gather and share in ceremonies and traditions that have been carried out for thousands of years. We gather to celebrate and to thank Mother Earth for her gifts. And we gather to celebrate our languages, cultures and ceremonies, which have persevered and prevailed despite decades of concerted effort to eradicate them.

Perry Bellegarde

National Indigenous History Month and Indigenous People’s Day are about learning, celebrating, and honouring Indigeneity and is not limited to the month of June, it is practised year-round.


Events and Workshops

Each June we celebrate with events, workshops, community engagement and social connections. Below you will find a list of ways to participate, learn and connect.

June 2, 2022 - Myeengun Henry: Traditional Anishinaabe Teachings (Free Webinar)

Please join us for this live webinar! Elder Myeengun Henry, Indigenous Knowledge Keeper, is Anishinaabe and a member from Deshkan Ziibiing. He is a former Chief of The Chippewas of the Thames First Nation and current elected Band Councilor. Myeengun is a traditional medicine healer and ceremony conductor, providing strategic leadership to University of Waterloo Faculty of Health in response to the Truth & Reconciliation Calls to Action.

June 9, 2022 - Gabrielle Fayant: A Métis Experience & Empowering Youth (free webinar)

Gabrielle Fayant is an off-Settlement Métis woman, whose family is from Fishing Lake Metis Settlement, AB, one of the 8 land-based Metis Settlements in Canada. Gabrielle is an award-winning woman for her work in community, youth empowerment, and Indigenous rights awareness. She has worked with several Indigenous and non-profit organizations and is currently a Helper and Co-Founder of Assembly of Seven Generations (A7G). A7G is an Indigenous owned and youth-led, non-profit organization focused on cultural support and empowerment programs/policies for Indigenous youth while being led by traditional knowledge and Elder guidance. Gabrielle is passionate about cultural resurgence and justice for all Indigenous peoples.

June 9, 2022- Hosted by the EDII Team in the Office of Research

Building Respectful Research Relationships with Indigenous Communities Webinar (with Dr. Kelly Skinner and Dr. Trish Van Katwyk

June 15, 2022 - Hosted by the EDII Team in the Office of Research

Online drop in/ask us anything! Have questions? The Indigenous Research team at UWaterloo is at service.

June 16, 2022 - Jordan Williams White Eye: Anishinaabe Thunderbird Sundance of Ontario (Free Webinar)

Jordan Williams White Eye is a passionate and dedicated Father from Bkejwanong First Nation. He is an Anishinaabe (Ojibway, Pottawatomi and Lenape) Spiritual Advisor, Knowledge Keeper, Pipe Carrier and Sweat Lodge Conductor, and he is the Caretaker/Leader of the Anishinaabe Thunderbird Sundance of Ontario. Jordan is Native Liaison with the Inn of the Good Shepherd in Sarnia, Ontario, and in addition to this role, offers cultural support to First Nation communities, community-based Indigenous agencies, colleges and universities, and provincial and federal correctional facilities across Ontario.

June 20, 2022 - WISC celebration

We will gather to celbrate National Indigenous Peoples' Day. Everyone is welcome! Ceremonial fire, eagle feather teaching, tobacco planting and drumming!  Coffee and snacks will be provided, as well as food between 12:00pm-1:00pm, followed by a giveaway.

Start Time: 10:30 am     Location: St.Paul University College Sacred Fire Grounds

June 20,2022 - Faculty of Health Commitment Ceremony

Faculty, staff and students are invited to attend a ceremony to formally welcome Elder Myeengun Henry as the Faculty of Health Indigenous Knowledge Keeper and commemorate a new relationship of reconciliation in work throughout the Faculty.

A tree will be planted in the B.C. Matthews Hall (BMH) courtyard to symbolize our Strategic Plan signature commitment – To foster an environment that invites and respects Indigenous ways of knowing – and a Wampum Belt will be presented.

June 23, 2022 - Susan Aglukark,O.C: Nomad-Correcting the Narrative (Free Webinar)

Through songs, stories, film, photos and music videos, NOMAD will take you on the journey of the Canadian Inuit over the last several thousand years shedding light on some of the psychological and cultural impacts of rapid change in the North. NOMAD also gives a glimpse of the resilience and determination of a people who have maintained a quiet dignity despite near annihilation by disease and rapid change, a glimpse of the strengths of the traditional culture. While NOMAD helps us better understand the effects of colonization and generational trauma caused by the Canadian Governments Residential School/assimilation policy on Inuit, viewers also gain an understanding that we as Indigenous (artists) work with and from for our own respective healing and learning.

June 24, 2022 - You Don't KNow What You Don't Know Part 2

This is a two-part workshop that journeys through First Nations, Inuit, and Metis relations with settlers.  As the title indicates, you don't know, what you don't know so everyone is welcome.  You will be introduced to the concept of Miskasowin (wholistic self-evaluation) that will define content, context, and relationship promoting further action, accountability, and responsibilities as a treaty person in this land now known as Canada.

June 24, 2022 - Indigenous Employee Community Social

On the last Friday of Each month, members of the Indigenous employee community at UWaterloo are welcome to come out to a social lunch, hosted by the Office of Indigenous Relations. This is a time to connect, share, support, collaborate and laugh! 

For more details please email

June 28, 2022 - Beaders and Readers

Beaders and Readers is a monthly social group for Faculty, Staff, and Post docs to gather in a kitchen-table-type environment and engage in artistic/crafting practices while discussing Indigenous authored novels. Bring your own supplies for your artistic practice, you do not have to read the novel to attend.

Recurring event happening the last Tuesday of Every Month from 6:00pm - 9:00pm in HH 117. For more information email

Resources about the First Nations who traditionally occupied and used the territory of the Haldimand Tract and the Waterloo Region

  • Treaties from a First Nation Perspective: The Haldimand Tract and Six Nations of the Grand River with Phil Monture – a highly informative lecture recorded for Treaties Recognition Week 2020 - 

  • Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation – Treaty Lands & Territory – learn  about the history and treaties related to the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation