June 17, 2024

National Indigenous History Month kicks off at UCalgary

Transformative events and cultural experiences such as Campfire Chats are highlights of month-long celebration
A sunset scene in a field with a tipi, a tree, and a campfire. Top left in red: Campfire Chats. Bottom left in white: A Celebration of Indigenous Music and Culture.
Celebrate First Nations, Inuit and Métis cultures this month by participating in one of UCalgary’s NIHM events Gordon Wesley/UCalgary

This National Indigenous History Month (NIHM), join the University of Calgary in celebrating centuries of First Nations, Inuit and Métis history and culture. First observed in 2009, NIHM commemorates the great achievements and resilience of Indigenous Peoples who have called this place home since time immemorial. Throughout the month of June, UCalgary is hosting and supporting numerous events and programs to celebrate and honour Indigenous Peoples’ diverse culture and rich history. 

In partnership with Heritage Park, UCalgary is once again co-hosting its signature event, Campfire Chats 2024: A Celebration of Indigenous Music and Culture. The celebration, organized in part by the Office of Indigenous Engagement, features live performances by Indigenous musicians and recording artists who will share stories through traditional and contemporary music. 

The event is free to the public and includes performances by Eya-Hey Nakoda, Armond Duck Chief, Craig Ginn, the Denby Family and Olivia Tail Feathers, as well as original artwork by local artist Gordon Wesley. This event will also include an Indigenous artisan market, and a pow wow earlier in the day hosted by Heritage Park.

Other events this month include a virtual Pathways to Healing circle hosted by the Cumming School of Medicine’s Indigenous, Local and Global Health Office, as well as UCalgary’s Libraries & Culture Resources’  virtual tour of its curated Indigenous Heritage Collection. The Office of Indigenous Engagement will also offer its workshop, titled 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act, based on the national best-selling book of the same title by Gwawa'enuk author Bob Joseph. 

As part of its Elder’s Wisdom video series, the Office of Indigenous Engagement is also releasing a new video focused on cultural transfers associated with the ii’ taa’poh’to’p strategy, narrated by Elder Dr. Reg Crowshoe, Hon. LLD’01, a prominent Piikani ceremonialist, community leader and adviser to the university. 

Special cultural events and workshops hosted not only this month, but throughout the year, support the UCalgary Indigenous Strategy and our collective journey toward reconciliation. Additional learning resources can be found on the Office of Indigenous Engagement website.

Celebrate First Nations, Inuit and Métis cultures this month by participating in one of UCalgary’s and its partner's NIHM events.

Indigenous Writing Circle

June 17
6 – 7 p.m. MT

UCalgary’s 2023-24 Canadian Writer-in-Residence, Francine Cunningham, is leading the final meeting of the Indigenous Writers Circle. Indigenous students, staff, alumni and community members are invited to join a bi-weekly online writing circle hosted by Cunningham. All levels are welcome, and no previous experience is necessary. The meeting is hosted on Zoom.

Register for this event

21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act

June 18
10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Room 112, Schulich School of Engineering

This interactive learning workshop addresses the history of the Indian Act of 1876. The act was envisioned as the tool that Canada’s federal government needed to solve the “Indian problem” forever — extermination of the cultures by assimilation. The act was one of segregation, subjugation and control of First Nations people. Early renditions of the Indian Act introduced several laws limiting freedom, prohibiting First Nations' cultural expression, and denying basic levels of sovereignty and self-determination.

Register for this event

Pathways to Healing Circle

June 20 
12 – 1 p.m. MT

Join us virtually to learn more about the Pathways to Healing initiative; discuss projects and ideas pertaining to Indigenous health, education and healing; and build meaningful relationships with others working in these areas. Hosted by the Indigenous, Local and Global Health Office.

Register for this event

Heritage Park Pow Wow

June 21
11 a.m. – 4 p.m. 
Celebration Field at Heritage Park

Come experience an authentic and traditional pow wow happening all day at Heritage Park! A pow wow  is a celebration of Indigenous heritage and culture through dance, music, and socialization. 

Anyone who self-identifies as Indigenous at the front gates of the park will get free admission.

Campfire Chats: A Celebration of Indigenous Music and Culture

June 21
4 – 6:30 p.m.
Heritage Park Plaza (free to attend)

June 21 marks National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada. Join UCalgary for the ninth annual Campfire Chats event, A Celebration of Indigenous Music and Culture. This event, held in partnership with Heritage Park, celebrates Indigenous Peoples’ culture and history through live music. Featured recording artists include Eya-Hey Nakoda, Armond Duck Chief, Craig Ginn, the Denby Family and Olivia Tail Feathers.

Register for this event

Online Monthly Book Club — Becoming a Matriarch

June 24
7:30 – 8:30 p.m. 

Join Francine Cunningham, 2023-24 Canadian Writer-in-Residence, for a monthly literary discussion. Our June selection is Becoming a Matriarch, a memoir by Helen Knott. 

About the book
Having lost both her mom and grandmother in just over six months, forced to navigate the fine lines between matriarchy, martyrdom, and codependency, Knott realizes she must let go, not just of the women who raised her, but of the woman she thought she was. Woven into the pages are themes of mourning, sobriety through loss, and generational dreaming. Becoming a Matriarch is charted with poetic insights, sass, humour and heart.

Register for this event

Indigenous Heritage Collection

June 2024

Visit the UCalgary Libraries & Cultural Resources home page for a specially curated Indigenous Heritage Collection that includes items from the library's collections, archival material and a listing of publications from the University of Calgary Press

ii’ taa’poh’to’p, the University of Calgary’s Indigenous Strategy, is a commitment to deep evolutionary transformation by reimagining ways of knowing, doing, connecting and being. Walking parallel paths together, “in a good way,” UCalgary is moving toward genuine reconciliation and Indigenization.

Sign up for UToday

Sign up for UToday

Delivered to your inbox — a daily roundup of news and events from across the University of Calgary's 14 faculties and dozens of units

Thank you for your submission.