Indigenous connections

Parks Canada is committed to a system of national heritage places that recognizes and honours the historic and contemporary contributions of Indigenous peoples, their histories and cultures, as well as the special relationships Indigenous peoples have with ancestral lands, waters and ice.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

September 30 marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and honours Survivors, their families, and Indigenous communities. It establishes a formal public commemoration of the tragic, painful and ongoing impact of residential schools that will remain a vital component of the reconciliation process.

The date of September 30 builds on the grassroots momentum of Orange Shirt Day, already known as a day to remember the legacy of residential schools and to educate and raise awareness among Canadians about the residential school system and its painful and long- lasting impact on Indigenous communities.

Residential schools were part of colonial assimilationist policies that removed Indigenous children from their communities and families. Orange Shirt Day and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation are opportunities for Canadians to learn about the lasting negative impacts residential schools have left on generations of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

Place names

Indigenous connections to ancestral lands, waters and ice are reinforced in many heritage places names.

Guardian and Watchmen programs

The Indigenous Guardians program supports Indigenous land management and stewardship in their territories based on a cultural responsibility for the land.

Indigenous leadership in conservation

Since time immemorial, Indigenous peoples have been nurturing a long-term relationship with ice, lands and waters, resulting in deep understandings of places and living systems.

Indigenous relations at Parks Canada

Strong relationships with Indigenous partners are essential to Parks Canada’s work and contribute to the process of reconciliation.

Sharing stories

Collaborating with Indigenous communities across Canada, Parks Canada and Indigenous peoples are partners in conserving natural and cultural heritage and sharing the stories of these treasured places.

Two paths, one destination

Indigenous Knowledge and Western science come together to protect a park and a homeland at Torngat Mountains National Park.

Bison conservation initiative

The recovery of the Plains Bison from near extinction is one of the great success stories of wildlife conservation in North America, achieved in collaboration with Indigenous partners.

Sea garden restoration

Coast Salish peoples, whose ancestral territories criss-cross the southern Gulf Islands, have managed their lands and resources for thousands of years.

Working together

Parks Canada is committed to ensuring Indigenous connections are honoured, and Indigenous rights are respected.

Parks Canada collaborates with Indigenous communities and organizations in various programs and activities through the use and application of Indigenous approaches and Indigenous Knowledge systems in the management of heritage places.


Indigenous voices share their own stories of their history and culture. Enjoy enriching experiences, deepen your understanding of the histories, cultures and important roles of Indigenous peoples.

Additional resources

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