June 6, 2024

By Whitney Kitchur, APTN Communications Coordinator

June is a significant month in Canada, marking National Indigenous History Month. This observance provides an opportunity to honour the histories, traditions, and contributions of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. The month-long jubilee culminates on June 21 with National Indigenous Peoples Day. APTN spotlights this month with a variety of programming that focuses on the accomplishments and stories of Indigenous communities, offering viewers meaningful ways to engage with these narratives. 

National Indigenous History Month was established in 2009 to acknowledge the diverse legacies and achievements of Indigenous Peoples in Canada. Building on the recognition of National Indigenous Peoples Day, first observed in 1996, this date aligns with the summer solstice, a time when many Indigenous cultures celebrate their heritage. Throughout the month, people across Canada participate in various activities, including cultural festivals, educational events, and traditional ceremonies. These celebrations not only honour the past but also look to the future, fostering a sense of pride and continuity within these groups. 

This June, APTN’s lineup includes several notable programs that honour cultural heritage, empowerment, and artistic contributions. One of the main features is the premiere of the film, Bones of Crows, on June 16. This film follows the journey of a Cree family across generations, depicting their resilience and traditions. It serves as a central piece of APTN’s offerings, providing viewers with a compelling narrative about Indigenous history and identity. 

Complementing Bones of Crows, APTN presents Coming Home (Wanna Icipus Kupi), a documentary that shares personal stories of individuals reconnecting with their roots and sense of self. This film delves into the importance of cultural revival within Indigenous communities, illustrating the profound connection to ancestral customs and values. Through these stories, APTN cultivates greater awareness of the continuous efforts to preserve and revitalize Indigenous languages and long-standing practices. 

APTN’s commitment to empowerment and advocacy is reflected in its shows dedicated to Indigenous women and 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals. Documentaries like Muffins for Granny highlight the resilience and cultural preservation efforts of Indigenous women. The drama series Querencia explores the complexities of modern Indigenous identity and relationships, offering a unique perspective on contemporary Indigenous life. 

Inconvenient Indian, based on Thomas King’s book, examines historical and contemporary issues facing Indigenous communities. This documentary provides a critical look at how Indigenous Peoples have been represented and misrepresented over time, fostering a deeper understanding of their ongoing struggles and triumphs. 

APTN extends the reach of its programming through a variety of platforms, including APTN lumi. This broad accessibility allows viewers to interact with the content conveniently, catering to a wide audience and ensuring that more Canadians can participate in National Indigenous History Month from anywhere at any time. 

Throughout June, APTN News will be featuring the literary works of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis poets. Each poem offers insight into Indigenous thought and creativity, enriching viewers’ understanding of Indigenous perspectives. Join us as we celebrate National Indigenous History Month and the voices of 30 Indigenous poets. For more details, visit APTN’s Indigenous History Month: The Anthology page. 

On National Indigenous Peoples Day, APTN has planned special programming to elevate the festivities. The day includes a marathon viewing of the hit comedy series Acting Good, hosted by Roger Laughingstick, the character portrayed by Billy Merasty. Music lovers can enjoy The Best of Indigenous Day Live and Le Grand Solstice, showcasing the Indigenous music scene across Canada. APTN National News will also provide live coverage from various locations, bringing the events from coast to coast to coast directly into your home, offering an immersive experience of Indigenous diversity. 

National Indigenous History Month at APTN offers all Canadians a chance to discover and value the heritage of Indigenous communities. Through its broadcasts, APTN celebrates the achievements and contributions of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples, ensuring their stories are heard, recognized and honoured. Let’s continue this celebration beyond June, integrating our respect and admiration for Indigenous cultures into our everyday lives.