Celebrating Pride Month and National Indigenous History Month
Written by: Quinn
June is an important month for Canadians; in addition to the school year ending and summer starting, June is designated as Pride Month and National Indigenous History Month. We at NSTEP want to focus on Pride and Indigenous History Month as times of celebration and learning. Here is a little bit about Pride Month and National Indigenous History Month and some ideas on how you can participate and learn!
Pride Month originated from the Stonewall Riots in 1969 and has since grown from a sombre march to a time of joyous celebration. Pride Month commemorates years of struggle for civil rights and equal justice under the law for the LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer+) community. Increasingly, there is a focus on LGBTQ+ youth and encouraging greater acceptance and support. One of the most important problems facing LGBTQ+ youth is a lack of acceptance from their families and communities. By fostering a foundation of acceptance and safety, youth are more likely to get involved, make new friends and build skills to support their success!
How can you help foster acceptance and celebrate pride this month? Here are a few ideas:
- Get out and into events in the community
- Experience LGBTQ+ voices (museums, art, performance, books, etc.)
- Read and watch perspectives of growing up LGBTQ+
- Learn how to be an ally and advocate (educate yourself, listen, affirm, promote representation, shut down anti-LGBTQ+ behaviour)
- Keep celebrating and encouraging LGBTQ+ inclusion year round
Recognize Pride Month as a time of both celebration and learning and commit to continuing to make inclusive and safe spaces!
National Indigenous History Month, originally designated in 2009, is also a time of celebration and learning! It is a time to recognize the rich history, heritage, resilience and diversity of First Nations, Inuit, and Metis people and to learn about their unique cultures, traditions and experiences. In Canada, each week of June has a theme to highlight aspects of Indigenous history and culture. You can find out more about each weekly theme at https://www.rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca/eng/1683124800202/1683124846095
Here are a few ways you can get involved:
- Discover Indigenous stories from their own voices (read a book, attend a show or an event)
- Begin to educate yourself on Indigenous history, culture and perspectives
- Learn about present-day Indigenous communities. A great way to start is to look at what traditional land you live on!
- Continue to show your support by joining the conversation and amplifying Indigenous voices all year
Community connections are essential to give children, and adults, a sense of belonging. By celebrating these, and other communities, you encourage connection and support for everyone. As adults, we model social skills and behaviours for the children and youth in our worlds. By celebrating Pride Month and National Indigenous History Month, we begin to create a better world!