Plan for National Aboriginal Day

Find ideas for National Aboriginal Day events and learn how to promote your event.

Choose a topic:

Event ideas

Traditional activities

Integrate both traditional and contemporary Indigenous, also known as Aboriginal, activities into your National Aboriginal Day celebration.

Activities could include:

  • opening and closing prayers
  • presentation on Indigenous culture
  • activities about traditional lifestyles
  • celebration of the summer solstice
  • community feast
  • pow-wow
  • drummers
  • traditional dancers - First Nations, Inuit and Métis
  • traditional games (e.g. lacrosse)
  • storytelling
  • arts and craft display or workshop

Activities for schools and youth

  • invite an Indigenous guest speakers, e.g., an Elder, to speak on local history and contemporary issues
  • plan a community activity with a partner (partners could be an on-reserve school or school district)
  • arts and crafts display or workshop
  • Indigenous language workshop
  • play traditional or contemporary games (e.g. lacrosse)
  • prepare a display of items such as treaties, arts and books
  • storytelling sessions
  • invite Indigenous dancers and singers to perform
  • an essay and artwork contest
  • a quiz on Indigenous history/culture
  • school Internet exchange
  • field trips to local Indigenous sites
  • student exchanges
  • pen pal club with an Indigenous school
  • research contributions made by Indigenous Peoples to Canada
  • learn about Indigenous heroes/heroines in Canada
  • learn about Indigenous food preparation
  • bannock-baking contest

Community events for Indigenous and non-Indigenous

  • organize a community breakfast
  • organize a barbecue
  • organize a bake fair
  • organize a bannock and other Indigenous food-making demonstrations
  • create a recipe book of local Indigenous dishes
  • organize cultural awareness workshops
  • demonstrate construction of a traditional dwelling
  • trace the community's roots
  • presente/demonstrate hunting, fishing and gathering techniques
  • organize workshops on medicinal plants
  • organize a concert headlining Indigenous performers
  • invite an Indspire Award recipient or nominee to participate in various events
  • aski a local Indigenous organization to host an open house with various partners
  • presente films and plays produced by Indigenous Peoples (both traditional and contemporary)
  • organize a walk on a historical trail
  • invite local officials and representatives from the local communities
  • organize a panel discussion on Indigenous issues and culture
  • create a time capsule

Other possibilities

Special displays of books, art, treaties, etc. could take place in libraries, museums, city halls, schools and other public places.

  • honour Indigenous veterans
  • partner with parks or your municipality to host an event at a site/museum
  • recreate historical events at a traditional Indigenous gathering site
  • host a travelling museum
  • hold meetings with mayor/city councils and Chief/band councils to share best practices
  • hold a city council meeting in a Friendship Centre
  • invite institutions that promote Native Studies programs, (e.g., University of Lethbridge, Trent University) to participate in National Aboriginal Day activities

How to promote your event

Communications

Local media, including print, radio and television, are excellent forums for National Aboriginal Day event announcements and to build awareness.

  • use the hashtag #NADCanada on social media
  • write a story or letter to the editor to be printed on June 21
  • invite the local cable television station to cover events
  • send public service announcement to various Indigenous and non-Indigenous media (print, mainstream and community radio stations)
  • partner with special networks such as the Women's Television Network (WTN), Youth Television Network (YTV) and Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN)
  • host a workshop on Indigenous languages or post examples of Indigenous languages on the Internet
Date modified: