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June is National Indigenous Heritage Month and June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day.

As a newcomer, immigrant, refugee, or Canadian citizen, National Indigenous History Month is a good place for folks to start to learn about the hidden histories of Canada, but it shouldn’t stop after June 21, and after the month of June passes.

Learning and unlearning are lifelong processes. Part of coming to Canada and integrating into Canadian society is to understand the impact that colonization and settlement had on the peoples who lived here first.

And, as non-indigenous folks, there are always things we can always actively be doing to uplift and celebrate Indigenous lives while being better allies.

Not sure where to start?

Here’s our list of the 3 things you can do right now to take steps to become a better ally:
  1. Read TRC: 94 Calls to Action
  2. Read Ally Bill of Responsibilities
  3. Acknowledge and express gratitude for the longstanding history of the land on which you currently reside. 
    You can find out whose land on which you reside by visiting websites like native-land.ca and whose.land
    Always express gratitude by naming the Indigenous land on which you currently reside. (That’s why in Vancouver you will hear meeting facilitators start off meetings with a gratitude for the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations as our host nations).
     
Of course, there is more that we can all do, but if you are new to Vancouver and/or Canada, and you haven’t been practicing the above, think of those three things as a good place to start.

And, if you have done those top 3 things already, great, but…the work is far from over!  Keep listening to and amplifying the voices of the people with real lived experiences. Keep reading so that you may learn and unlearn.

More resources: CIC News, a great resource on immigration in Canada, put together this helpful article on how immigrants can learn more about Indigenous Peoples in Canada. 

Do you have a "must-read" resource to be a better ally and/or creator that you'd like us to celebrate? Let us know and we will add them to our list.
 

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