Canada hosts several diversity and inclusion events in June

Posted on June 6, 2023 at 08:00 am EDT

diverse group of people

June in Canada is full of national and heritage celebrations. Canada recognizes the importance of these occasions to commemorate cultural diversity, foster unity and contribute to the country’s rich cultural tapestry.

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June is the month to celebrate:

  • National Indian History Month
  • Italian Heritage Month
  • Philippine Heritage Month
  • Portuguese Heritage Month
  • Launch of the Pride season

In addition, certain days in June are celebrated in recognition of:

  • National Day of Indigenous Peoples (June 21)
  • Feast of Saint John the Baptist (June 24)

Canada values ​​recognizing the diverse heritage that has made the country what it is today. Neither of these days are recognized as federal legal holidays, but they remain key to creating conversations that help build understanding and inclusion.

National Indigenous History Month and National Indigenous Peoples Day

National Indigenous History Month recognizes the history of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada. It gives Canadians the opportunity to celebrate indigenous peoples and learn about their unique cultures, traditions and experiences. Additionally, it is a time to honor the stories, achievements and resilience of indigenous peoples who have always lived on Canadian land and whose presence continues to impact the country.

Canada is remembering children who were taken from their families and placed in residential schools, especially after the remains of 215 indigenous children were found in unmarked graves in Kamloops, BC.

Reconciliation is a term used in Canada to describe the goal and process of healing past hurts and making amends. In Canada, the process is just beginning and will continue for a long time.

This year, each week is dedicated to a different theme to highlight specific aspects of indigenous history, cultures and perspectives:

  • June 1-6: Women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people
  • June 5 to 11: Environment, traditional knowledge and territory
  • June 10 to 18: Children and youth
  • June 19 to 25: Languages, cultures and arts
  • June 26 to 30: Reconciliation

The Government of Canada website provides ways you can get involved and show your support. You can find this information here.

June 21 is the National Day of Indigenous Peoples. Like Indigenous History Month, it is a time to recognize and celebrate the cultures and spiritual beliefs of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis. June 21 was chosen because it is the summer solstice. For generations, Indigenous people they have celebrated their heritage around this time due to its importance as the longest day of the year.

Italian Heritage Month

Canada has more than 1.5 million people of Italian descent, home to one of the largest Italian diasporas in the world. June celebrates the contribution of the Italian community to building a strong, vibrant and inclusive country.

In 2010, Ontario passed the Italian Heritage Month Act, recognizing the significant contribution Italian immigrants have made to building Ontario communities and the economic, political, social and cultural achievements of Italian Canadians across the province.

Large Canadian cities like Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver have “Little Italy” neighborhoods, which are sections of the city packed with Canadian Italian businesses and restaurants.

Philippine Heritage Month

Filipino Heritage Month celebrates Filipino culture, traditions and languages ​​and the many contributions the community has made to the country.

The Filipino community is one of the largest and fastest growing diasporas in Canada, and has had a positive impact on healthcare, politics, business, sports, and the arts. For example, a very high percentage of Filipino Canadians work in the healthcare industry and in the welfare industry (20.6%), compared to other visible minorities.

As of the 2021 census, there were 957,355 Filipino Canadians, representing about 2.58% of Canada’s total population.

Portuguese Heritage Month

Portuguese Heritage Month celebrates Canada’s half million Portuguese-Canadians. It’s a time to celebrate the vibrant culture of the Portuguese Canadian community. Portugal Day, June 10, marks the death of Luís de Camões, a soldier who was considered the greatest poet and writer in Portugal and in the Portuguese language.

The Portuguese Canadian community has contributed to Canada’s growth and development since the 1500s and continues to make significant contributions to Canadian society through a rich history, language and culture.

pride season

Throughout Canada, Pride events are held in Canadian cities to recognize sexual and gender diversity and equality in Canada. It’s a time to recognize the 2SLGBTQI+ community and celebrate their resilience, talent and contributions to Canada.

Historically, Pride gatherings grew out of 2SLGBTQI+ rights protests in Canada. Now, Pride events are held in a number of cities, including Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Saskatoon, Vancouver, and Winnipeg. Today, Toronto Pride weekend in June (June 23-25) is one of the largest Pride events in North America. The Gay Pride Parade will take place on June 25 this year.

Saint John the Baptist Day

The day of San Juan Bautista is a patriotic celebration that occurs on June 24. The day is celebrated in the province of Quebec and by French Canadians across Canada. In Quebec, it has been a legal holiday since 1925, with publicly funded events organized throughout the province by the Comité organisateur de la fête nationale du Québec.

The holiday dates back to the feast of Saint John the Baptist, which was a popular event in Old Regime France. The tradition was brought to Canada with the first French settlers in the 17th century.

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