“It’s part of my job to sing for the people,” says Brock Lewis, an Aboriginal artist from the Anishinaabe tribe in Ottawa. Today on the 20th Anniversary of National Aboriginal Day, Canadians are reminded of the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis people. In 1996, the federal government along with Aboriginal leaders, chose to recognize National Aboriginal day on summer solstice – a celebration of the return of the warmth of the sun. Summer is the season we reap the crops we have sown, and like the beat of Lewis’ ceremonial drum, reminds us of our own connection with Mother Nature. It is a time to clear out old energy and to make room for new possibilities. Recently, there has been a national dialogue regarding the recommendations in the Truth and Reconciliation of Canada outlined by Senator Murray Sinclair. Celebrating the diversity within the arts, crafts, dancing and music of Canada’s Indigenous culture is one of the many ways in which our communities can come together to build strong and lasting relationships. In honour of National Aboriginal Day, take a look at this list of inspiring and innovative Indigenous community builders brought to you by the CBC. Here at The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Canada we want to celebrate and recognize all of our Indigenous participants across the country for their unique achievements that are paving the way for future community leadership.
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