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Celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day

Celebrating National Indigenous Peoples Day
/ FatCamera / E+ / Getty Images

June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day— a day to recognize and celebrate the cultures and achievements of Indigenous people in Canada. This year marks the 25th anniversary and to help celebrate, there are plenty of activities happening across Canada including right here in Montreal. What follows is a list of events we recommend.  

The McCord Museum

The McCord Museum invites you to visit the exhibitions Of It Was A Song by Meryl McMaster and Wearing Her Identity - The First Peoples Collection, free of charge, from June 19 to 21. A screening of the short film Smudge will also be accessible free of charge in the Museum's theater.


There Once Was A Song By Meryl McMaster

Take the opportunity to discover this new exhibition by Meryl McMaster, an artist of Nêhiyaw (Plains Cree), British and Dutch heritage. For the first time, she has created an exhibition where she combines photography with other media. Her work questions the desire to capture and confine the natural world in order to freeze it in time.

Wearing Our Identity – The First Peoples Collection

Don’t miss your last chance to visit this magnificent exhibition, which closes on June 27! Learn about the importance of clothing in the development, preservation and communication of the social, cultural, political and spiritual identities of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

POP Montreal Is Hosting A Free National Indigenous Peoples Day Concert In Montreal

Pop Montreal is collaborating with Resilience Montreal, the Native Women's Shelter of Montreal, and the Ville Marie borough for a show at Cabot Square between 3:00 and 7:00 P.M.

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of this day, the event will feature various Indigenous performers, including singers, guitarists, bands, spoken word artists, opera singers and electro DJs. Shauit, Scott Sinquah, the Buffalo Hat Singers, Moe Clark, Geronimo Inutiq, Corey Diabo, Jeremy Dutcher are all listed to perform. 

Tickets are FREE and must be reserved online or at the Resilience Montreal tent on site.

Montréal Space for Life's Museum

At the First Nations Garden, you can delve into the exhibition Kuugaaluk: Along the traces of our forefathers, by anthropologist and Inuit Arctic specialist Lisa Qiluqqi Koperqualuk. The exhibition is made up of a series of photographsic that chronicle a journey thematically linked to the land and memory.


Since autumn 2015, the popular Gardens of light event is even more magical, as the First Nations Garden is illuminated, along with the Chinese and Japanese Gardens! For First Nations and Inuit people, the night is full of dreams and sometimes devious spirits. Come experience it for yourself and share the respect that Native people feel for the forces of nature.

In summer, awaken your senses as you stretch out in a tent and listen to legends on a pallet of fir boughs with a storyteller, musician or singer. Or simply enjoy the peace and quiet as you relax and inhale the sweet fragrance.  

A peat bog is a strange and fascinating place full of plants that grow without roots. Visit the Garden’s bog and take part in “Earth that Grows,” the Boreal Forest Muskeg, an activity where you can learn some of the secrets of this age-old plant community and pick up some ancient Native know-how.  

Visit the website for more info. 

The Native Museum of Mashteuiatsh

The Native Museum of Mashteuiatsh invites you to enter the world of the First Peoples.

Immerse yourself in the thousand-year-old culture of the Pekuakamiulnuatsh (Ilnuatsh of Lac-Saint-Jean) at the Native Museum of Mashteuiatsh! From June to September, you can journey on the Nuhtshimitsh outdoor trail where you will learn more about the properties of the boreal flora and its uses in the lifestyle of the Pekuakamiulnuatsh. They offer guided tours or you can simply follow the trail with interpretation panels on your own. This is your chance to learn more about the First Nations of Quebec and Canada through exhibitions related to visual arts, anthropology or archeology.

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