Indigenous Resources

Explore the diverse and rich cultures, experiences, histories, and stories of Indigenous peoples and communities.

Scroll down to find information on the following:


National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was designated by the federal government as a new federal statutory holiday, in response to one of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action.

September 30, 2021, marks the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, and this day ensures the ongoing recognition of the history and legacy of residential schools, as a vital part of the healing and reconciliation process, and honours their survivors, families, and communities.

Information for Businesses

As a federal statutory holiday, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation only impacts crown corporations, federal public sector workers, and businesses that are federally regulated or subject to the Canada Labour Code.

The BC Employment Standards Act, which the vast majority of provincially regulated BC businesses are subject to, has not been amended to include September 30 as a statutory holiday this year. As a result, recognizing the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation will be at the discretion of individual private BC employers.

Moving forward, the Provincial Government has announced that it will consult and engage with business and labour stakeholders for their perspectives on how the national day is commemorated in future years.

However, many provincial public sector workers, schools, and post-secondary institutions, along with some health sector workplaces, will be closed or operating at reduced capacity. In addition, many unionized workplaces may observe the holiday as well, depending on whether their collective agreement makes provisions for all federal holidays.


Orange Shirt Day

Also taking place on September 30, Orange Shirt Day is an Indigenous-led commemorative day that opens the door to a global conversation on all aspects of residential schools.

This day relates to the experience of Phyllis (Jack) Webstad, a Northern Secwepemc (Shuswap) from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation, on her first day of school, where she arrived dressed in a new orange shirt, which was taken from her. It is now a symbol of the stripping away of the culture, freedom, and self-esteem experienced by Indigenous children over generations.

On September 30, in recognition of the harm of the residential school system, we encourage you to wear orange to raise awareness of the tragic legacy of residential schools and to honour the thousands of survivors.

You can help support the Orange Shirt Society in raising awareness across Canada about residential schools and their continuing impact by making a direct donation or purchasing an orange shirt from an official retailer.


Resources from the Government of Canada

Indigenous Peoples and Communities

‘Indigenous peoples’ is a collective name for the original peoples of North America and their descendants. Often, ‘Aboriginal peoples’ is also used.

The Canadian Constitution recognizes three groups of Aboriginal peoples:

These are three distinct peoples with unique histories, languages, cultural practices and spiritual beliefs.

Indigenous History

Discover the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada, reconciliation and more.

Indigenous history from the perspective of First Nations in Canada.

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Indigenous history from the perspective of Inuit in Canada.

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Indigenous history from the perspective of Métis in Canada.

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The Government of Canada is working to advance reconciliation and renew the relationship with Indigenous peoples, based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.

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Information about the inter-generational damage caused by Indian Residential Schools and the efforts being made to bring a fair and lasting resolution to this chapter in Canadian history.

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A virtual exhibition that looks at facets of the history of Canada’s Indigenous peoples, based largely on information and artifacts presented in the First Peoples Hall of the Canadian Museum of History.

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Indigenous Arts, Culture and Heritage

The Government of Canada works with Indigenous partners to help celebrate, raise awareness of and preserve Indigenous arts, culture and heritage.

Explore the rich and diverse cultures, voices, experiences and histories of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples with resources from the Government of Canada.

Find out more about the Indigenous Art Collection, one of the most important collections of contemporary Indigenous art in Canada.

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Learn about the history of Indigenous peoples in Canada, Indigenous contributions to the War of 1812, the First Canadian Arctic Expedition and more.

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On November 16, reflect on Louis Riel, and his important role for the advocacy of the Métis Nation and his help in building the Canada we know today.

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June is National Indigenous History Month. Learn more about the contributions of Indigenous peoples to Canada.

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National Indigenous Peoples Day, formally known as National Aboriginal Day, is an occasion for all Canadians to celebrate the rich contributions Indigenous people have made to Canada. Find resources and suggested events to help you celebrate this special day.

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Learn about community-driven efforts to improve the lives of Indigenous and Northern peoples and communities.

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Reconciliation

Learn how the Government of Canada is working to advance reconciliation and renew the relationship with Indigenous peoples, based on recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.

Learn how the Government of Canada is responding to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's 94 Calls to Action.

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Learn about truth and reconciliation from an Indigenous perspective in the Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada.

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Bringing closure to the legacy of Indian Residential Schools lies at the heart of reconciliation between Indigenous peoples who attended these schools, their families and communities, and all Canadians.

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Learn about the impact of the residential school system, the experiences of former students and the 94 calls to action made by the commission in its final report.

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Canada is moving forward with Indigenous partners on different paths toward reconciliation, including Recognition of Rights discussion tables. Find a list of these tables by region.

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#IndigenousReads encourages reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples by sharing Indigenous literature.

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Resources from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation

The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) is a place of learning and dialogue where the truths of the residential school experience will be honoured and kept safe for future generations.

Below is a list of key resources from the NCTR at the University of Manitoba:


Free Online Courses from Canadian Post-Secondary Institutions

Various Canadian post-secondary institutions offer free online courses for individuals that are interested in exploring Indigenous histories, and a few of these courses are listed below.

Aboriginal Worldviews and Education – University of Toronto

Offered through Coursera, Aboriginal Worldviews and Education will explore indigenous ways of knowing and how they can benefit all students. Intended for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal learners, topics include historical, social, and political issues in Aboriginal education; terminology; cultural, spiritual and philosophical themes in Aboriginal worldviews; and how Aboriginal worldviews can inform professional programs and practices, including but not limited to the field of education.

Indigenous Awareness – BC Institute of Technology

Indigenous Awareness promotes an increased understanding of Indigenous people and their place and space in Canada, past and present. The course will provide you with foundational knowledge of Indigenous people in the hopes that as the true history and contemporary reality of Indigenous people is more broadly known, Reconciliation can begin.

Indigenous Canada – University of Alberta

Focusing on Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada from an Indigenous perspective, Indigenous Canada explores key issues facing Indigenous peoples today from a historical and critical perspective highlighting national and local Indigenous-settler relations.

Reconciliation Through Indigenous Education – University of BC

A 6-week course, Reconciliation Through Indigenous Education will help you envision how Indigenous histories, perspectives, worldviews, and approaches to learning can be made part of the work we do in classrooms, organizations, communities, and our everyday experiences in ways that are thoughtful and respectful. In this course, reconciliation emphasizes changing institutional structures, practices, and policies, as well as personal and professional ideologies to create environments that are committed to strengthening our relationships with Indigenous peoples.