In June, the Town of Pelham along with communities across Canada, commemorate National Indigenous History Month. During this month, residents are encouraged to take time to recognize the rich history, heritage, resilience and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples across Canada.

National Indigenous Peoples Day takes place on the summer solstice, June 21. It’s a special occasion to learn more about the rich and diverse cultures, voices, experiences and histories of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

The Town of Pelham is situated on the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe peoples, many of whom continue to live and work here today. This territory is covered by the Upper Canada Treaties and is within the land protected by the Dish With One Spoon Wampum agreement. Today, this gathering place is home to many First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples and acknowledging reminds us that our great standard of living is directly related to the resources and friendships of Indigenous peoples.

Learning about Indigenous Peoples, places and experiences is a step forward each Canadian can take on the path to reconciliation.


Ceremony & Flag Raising with Joseph Shawana
The Town of Pelham recognizes the significance of National Indigenous Peoples Day, and as such will have a flag raising ceremony. Please join us and Joseph Shawana on June 21st, who will be opening our ceremony with a song and smudge. 


Where: Pelham Town Hall - 20 Pelham Town Square 

When: Tuesday, June 21st 8:00 AM

What to expect: Members of the community are invited to attend, and those attending are encouraged to wear orange. 


The "Every Child Matters" Flag will be raised during this time to celebrate First Nations, Métis, and Inuit cultures. It is inclusive of all Indigenous communities, and reiterates the importance of bringing awareness to the residential school system.


About the flag that will be raised:

The flag that will be raised has been smudged with sweetgrass and sage. Ktunaxa artist Carol Louie provided the art for the feather and ideas for the design. Robert Louie (Ktunaxa) and Denice Louie (Athabascan) completed the design work in collaboration with their summer youth worker Gabe Kobasiuk (Cree). 


Bench Dedication: 

Immediately following the ceremony, a new orange bench dedication will take place in Peace Park. The bench has been provided through the generous donation of an anonymous Pelham resident and included on the bench is the following inscription:


"They tried to bury us, they didn't know we were seeds." 

Truth and Reconciliation Commission's

Calls to Action 71 to 76

Seminar: The Heart of the Strawberry with Nokomis Migizinz Cindilee

Join us on National Indigenous Peoples Day for an in-person seminar with Nokomis Migizinz Cindilee from 4 Winds All My Relations. 


Nokomis Migizinz Cindilee (Anishinaabe) is a Physical Grandmother and a Spiritual Grandmother Women Bundle Carrier. She actively works and engages in various capacities of Traditional Knowledge sharing in Halton, Hamilton and Niagara. Since 2007, her work has been in education working in elementary, secondary, and post secondary as an instructor, educator, academic coach, and cultural liaison- sharing teachings and history. 


Registration is recommended although not required. 

Please contact the RCW Intern, Sam Pinckney, at 905-732-7886, or by email at


Where: Meridian Community Centre (Accursi Room)- 100 Meridian Way

When: Tuesday, June 21st 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Butterfly Spirit Drummers Presentation

Join us on National Indigenous Peoples Day for an in-person drumming presentation with Butterfly Spirit Drummers. First created in 2017, their goal is to create unity, peace, and love amongst all nations, creeds, religions, and peoples. 


Registration is recommended although not required. 

Please contact the RCW Intern, Sam Pinckney, at 905-732-7886, or by email at


Where: Meridian Community Centre (MCC Courtyard) - 100 Meridian Way 

When: Tuesday, June 21st 1:45 PM - 2:45 PM

Cultural Roots of Lacrosse Workshop 

The Town of Pelham worked in collaboration with the Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre to offer a Cultural Roots of Lacrosse workshop led by Jace Sowden of Fuse Lacrosse Club. Fuse Lacrosse Club is an Indigenous owned partnership, who are all Haudenosaunee or status Indigenous people. Their workshops focus on the traditional teachings of lacrosse and acknowledge its traditional roots as the creator’s game and medicine game from Haudenosaunee people. Fuse LC’s experienced instructors exemplify their core values including tradition, respect, leadership, perseverance, and integrity. 


Where: Meridian Community Centre - 100 Meridian Way 

When: Tuesday, June 21st 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM


Register now by visiting the Niagara Folk Arts Festival website

Art Display

Meridian Community Centre Display

The Meridian Community Centre, in collaboration with the Upper Canada Native Art Gallery, is featuring Inuit and Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) art and artists from across Turtle Island (Canada) throughout Indigenous History Month. The Upper Canada Native Art Gallery is located in the heart of the beautiful and historic, Niagara-on-the-Lake. The team at Upper Canada Native Art are renowned in the industry for their expertise in sourcing and collecting the best in unique, one of a kind art. 


For more information, please contact Thomas Chapman at 905-468-6464, or by email at

Drop in Discovery - Dreamcatcher Kits 

For Indigenous History Month, you can find Dreamcatcher Kits in the atrium of the Meridian Community Centre. They are free and self-directed, and provide materials for you to complete the art activity. 


About National Indigenous Peoples Day - June 21

June 21st is National Indigenous Peoples Day - a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. National Indigenous Peoples Day, formerly known as National Aboriginal Day, was announced in 1996 by then Governor General of Canada, Roméo LeBlanc.

Listen, Learn, Act

The Town of Pelham encourages residents to learn more about Indigenous communities with the following resources.





Indigenous Organizations in Niagara 

Learn about the different Indigenous organizations in Niagara and learn about the programs and services they offer.


Niagara Regional Native Centre

Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre

Niagara Chapter Native Women

Niagara Region Metis Council

Indigenous Diabetes Health Circle

De Dwa Da Dehs Nye>s Aboriginal Health Centre based in Hamilton, but is increasing its outreach services in Niagara

Indigenous Health Network is part of the HNHB LHIN working with health and social service providers to address the health needs and issues of local Indigenous communities

Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre: Docuseries Indigenous Perspectives

The Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre produced a docuseries highlighting Indigenous history in Niagara


Watch the series here: 

  • Part 1: focuses on how life was before contact with settlers and the Indigenous contributions to the War of 1812
  • Part 2: looks at the tragedies of the residential school system, the 60's Scoop, and the Millennial Scoop, and their impacts on Indigenous peoples and communities in the present
  • Part 3: discusses racism in Canada today and how the community is healing with all the trauma they have experienced
National Residential School 24 Hour Crisis Line

A National Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support to former students.

This 24-Hour Crisis Line can be accessed at: 1-866-925-4419.

Indigenous Canada - University of Alberta 
Indigenous Canada is a 12-lesson Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) from the Faculty of Native Studies that explores the different histories and contemporary perspectives of Indigenous peoples living in Canada. From an Indigenous perspective, this course explores complex experiences Indigenous peoples face today from a historical and critical perspective highlighting national and local Indigenous-settler relations. Indigenous Canada is for students from faculties outside the Faculty of Native Studies with an interest in acquiring a basic familiarity with Indigenous / non-Indigenous relationships. Learn more here
Native Land: Whose Land Do You Live On ?
Find out and learn about whose traditional territory you live on by visiting Learn more about the original caretakers of the land you now inhabit, their history, and the current issues that affect their communities.
GeoViewer: Who Are Your Neighbours ? 
Interact with this virtual map and discover the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples who may live around you. 

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