Slideshow image

June is National Indigenous History Month in Canada, an opportunity to learn about the unique cultures, traditions and experiences of First Nations, Inuit and Métis. It's a time to honour the stories, achievements and resilience of Indigenous Peoples, who have lived on this land since time immemorial and whose presence continues to impact the evolving Canada.

The Whale represents the Inuit people.  If someone were to ask the Inuit of today, “where did your culture come from?” we would have to say it came from both the Sivullirmiut and the Thule. Together, these two groups provided the foundation from which the Inuit cultures of today developed. In many ways, the two cultures were similar, but there were also important differences. The greatest similarity, however, is between the Thule culture and the Inuit way of life that was practised throughout the Canadian Arctic until a generation ago.

The Eagle represents the First Nations people.  First Nations culture is rooted in storytelling. Since time immemorial, we have passed on knowledge from generation to generation through our Oral Traditions to teach our beliefs, history, values, practices, customs, rituals, relationships, and ways of life. Our culture and the teachings of our ancestors are preserved and carried on through the words of Elders, leaders, community members and young ones. These teachings form an integral part of our identity as nations, communities, clans, families and individuals.

Metis people is represented by the Fiddle Head.  Within non-Indigenous society, there are two competing ideas of what being Métis means. The first, when spelled with a lowercase “m” (métis), means individuals or people having mixed-race parents and ancestries, e.g., North American Indigenous and European/Euro-Canadian/Euro-American. It is a racial categorization. This is the oldest meaning of Métis and is based on the French verb métisser, to mix races or ethnicities. The related noun for the act of race-mixing is métissage. The second meaning of being Métis, and the one that is embraced by the Métis Nation, relates to a self-defining people with a distinct history in a specific region (Western Canada’s prairies) with some spillover into British Columbia, Ontario, North Dakota, Montana and Northwest Territories. In this case, the term Métis is spelled with an uppercase “M” and often, but does not always, contain an accent aigu (é).

For more information on our Indigenous brothers and sisters please visit this site:

Thank you,

God Bless,

P. Shannon

A Metis brother in Christ