June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day (NIPD), formerly National Aboriginal Day. This is a day of cultural significance for First Nations, Inuit and Métis. The City of Toronto has proclaimed National Indigenous Peoples Day since 1998.

Every year, the City of Toronto marks this day with a sunrise ceremony, where all are invited to come together with Indigenous partners to offer thoughts and prayers to the Creator and give thanks for all of creation and Mino Baamodziwin (The Good Life). The ceremony is held around a Sacred Fire and consists of many ceremonial elements that hold cultural significance for Indigenous Peoples, such as strawberries, water and the use of sage for cleansing. After the sacred ceremony, the National Indigenous Peoples Day Proclamation is read and presented to an Indigenous representative. Learn more about sunrise ceremonies.

The City of Toronto has been raising Indigenous flags since before amalgamation, and in 2017 installed five Indigenous flags permanently on Nathan Phillips Square.

People standing in a circle around three fires in Nathan Phillips Square
National Indigenous Peoples Sunrise Ceremony (June 21, 2022)