National Indigenous History Month 2023
June is National Indigenous History Month in Canada. A time to recognize the rich history, heritage, resilience and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis. Parks Canada and the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada are pleased to highlight a sample of national historic designations related to Indigenous history in Canada.
Are you aware of a subject related to Indigenous heritage, or a person, place or event that may have national historical significance? Learn more about how to submit a nomination.
Tr’ochëk was designated a national historic site of Canada in 2001.
Tr'ochëk lies at the heart of Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in territory and is a gathering place that is valued for its rich natural resources and its significance to the community in sustaining and transmitting its heritage.
Commemorative plaque: Dawson, Yukon Territory
Aboriginal Military Service in the First World War was designated as a national historic event in 2011.
During the Great War and for the first time, the Canadian forces integrated a substantial number of Aboriginal men into their ranks as individual soldiers.
Commemorative plaque: National Aboriginal Veterans Monument in Confederation Park, Ottawa, Ontario
‘Wii Niisł Puuntk (Lucille Clifton) was designated as a national historic person in 2016.
Former Laxsgiik (Eagle Clan) leader, she is an outstanding example of a centuries-old role held by prominent Gitga'at (Tsimshian) women in this matrilineal society, held traditional knowledge and passed on cultural practices.
Commemorative plaque: Hartley Bay Cultural Centre, in Hartley Bay (Gitga'at First Nation), British Columbia
Mehtawtik (Meductic) Village was designated a national historic site in 1924.
The ancient village of Mehtawtik (Meductic) was the principal settlement of the Wəlastəkokewiyik (Maliseets) from before the 17th century.
Commemorative plaque: Fort Meductic Road, off highway 165, Meductic, New Brunswick
Francis Pegahmagabow was designated as a national historic person in 2019.
Ojibwe Nishnaabe of Wasauksing First Nation, Francis Pegahmagabow was a highly decorated soldier in the First World War. He advocated for Indigenous rights from the 1920s to 1950s.
Thomas George "Tommy" Prince was designated as a national historic person in 2019.
Indigenous veteran of the Second World War and the Korean War, Thomas George "Tommy" Prince represented the interests of First Nations in Manitoba at the national level.
Nahnebahwequay was designated as a national historic person in 2021.
In the mid-19th century, Nahnebahwequay was a Mississauga activist who fought against colonial policies that dispossessed First Nations from their lands.
Aísínai'pi was designated a national historic site in 2004. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Also known as Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park, Áísínai'pi National Historic Site is located on the Milk River in southern Alberta 150 km east of the Rocky Mountains and is one of the most important sacred places for the Niitsítapi (Blackfoot).
Commemorative plaque: Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park, Alberta
Onondeyoh (Frederick Ogilvie Loft) was designated a national historic person in 2019.
Onondeyoh (Frederick Ogilvie Loft) was an important First Nations political leader in the period following the First World War.
The Residential School System was designated as a national historic event in 2020.
During the 19th and 20th centuries, a formal system for the residential schooling of Indigenous children was established and expanded throughout Canada. It was part of a policy of assimilation imposed on Indigenous Peoples by the federal government and certain churches resulting in intergenerational harm to First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, their families, and communities.
Peter Pitseolak was designated a national historic person in 1981.
Aware that Inuit culture was undergoing momentous change, Peter Pitseolak took care to record both the old customs and beliefs of his people and their adjustment to a new life.
Want to see more heritage designations?
Search through over 3,600 designations listed in the Directory of Federal Heritage Designations (DFHD)
The Directory of Federal Heritage Designations offers a complete list of federal designations stemming from various programs managed by Parks Canada. It includes information on designated persons, places, and events of national historic significance under the National Program of Historical Commemoration, as well as railway stations, lighthouses, and federal buildings that are of national historic value or interest.
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