National Indigenous Peoples Day 2021

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Multicoloured drawing with a blue narwhal, yellow eagle, and pink violin all flying out of an orange sun and beside it, three Indigenous people: one beating a drum, one dancing, and one playing a violin.

Happy National Indigenous Peoples Day! Today we recognize and celebrate the heritage, cultures, and contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

Formerly known as Aboriginal Peoples Day, Indigenous Peoples Day was first celebrated in 1996 and is now held annually on June 21st. It is celebrated on the summer solstice as a way to give thanks to the Earth and to celebrate the traditions of Indigenous cultures.

In honour of National Indigenous Peoples Day, we wanted to highlight some of the amazing work done in collaboration with our Indigenous partners as we walk together to support families and individuals with FASD.

Pop-Up Art Workshop

In partnership with the Prairie Child Welfare Consortium and the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Social Work, we hosted a free Pop-Up Art Workshop in March 2021. Led by two accomplished Indigenous artists, Dr. Marlyn Bennett and Bruce Barry, the goal of this virtual workshop was to bring together people and communities through art.

Indigenous Approaches to FASD Prevention

FASD is a complex disability, intertwined with social determinants of health that can affect people of all ethnic, racial, economic, religious, and societal backgrounds. Through leadership from the Thunderbird Partnership Foundation, leading experts in Indigenous health and wellness, and the Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health, a series of bookletswere developed that highlight key topics in Indigenous approaches to FASD prevention.

Decolonizing Justice

Dr. Dorothy Badry, CanFASD’s Child Welfare Research Lead, co-authored a book reflecting the issues around FASD, the criminal justice system, and the impacts on Aboriginal children, youth, and their families. It is based in research from Canada, Australia, and New Zealand but the themes explored have worldwide application.

Happy International Indigenous Peoples Day! On this day, we not only celebrate Indigenous heritage and cultures across Canada, but we are thankful for the partnerships we’ve developed throughout the years and the incredible work that has come from these partnerships.

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