Indigenous People’s Month
Explore, Shop, Watch and Feast
Celebrate Indigenous histories, arts and stories during Indigenous People’s Month at Toronto History Museums. Explore inspiring events including virtual tours, a culinary program, films and dance performances by emerging and established talent, and more. Shop unique products from Indigenous artists and authors.
Toronto History Museums’ Indigenous People’s Month community task force has co-created an inspiring calendar of online events. Free streamed programs include an opening address by Chief R. Stacey Laforme, embedding the program in the territory lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. Explore, Shop, Watch and Feast this month.
More than 70,000 residents in Toronto are from Indigenous communities. Toronto has the largest Indigenous population in Ontario and the fourth largest in Canada. According to Canada’s 2016 Census Metropolitan Area statistics, the Indigenous population in Toronto went from 36,995 to 46,315, an increase of 25 per cent. Read more about Indigenous people of Toronto.
Join First Story Toronto’s new Treaty-focused virtual tours led by Jon Johnson and youth guides on June 15, 22 and 29. Admission is free and participation is limited to 60 people.
First Story Toronto is an Indigenous community-based organization that researches and shares Toronto’s Indigenous presence through popular education initiatives such as storytelling walks throughout the city and an online application. First Story Toronto works to increase awareness and appreciation of the long and continuously unfolding history of Indigenous accomplishment in Toronto, to engage in anti-racist and social justice initiatives related to Indigenous peoples, and to support efforts to increase capacity for Indigenous leadership in the city.
Jon Johnson is an Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, at Woodsworth College, University of Toronto. His research is focused on urban land-based Indigenous Knowledge in Toronto and their representation through oral and digital forms of storytelling. He works actively within Toronto’s Indigenous community in his capacity as a lead organizer for First Story Toronto. He is particularly interested in pedagogy and projects that create mutually respectful and beneficial collaborations between Indigenous communities and the university.
Celebrate Indigenous arts, culture and knowledge. Shop Indigenous-made and designed products, join virtual discussions and learn ways to ways to support artists in the city.
Toronto History Museums Shop
The shop showcases Indigenous artists, makers and authors, including an artist collective from the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, celebrating Indigenous arts, culture and knowledge. Curbside pickup and shipping is available.
Indigenous Artisans in Tkaronto
Beginning June 10, artist Leslie McCue moderates a conversation with Indigenous artisans reflecting on their inspiration for creation, and ways to support artists in the city. The conversation features Theresa Burning, Bruno Henry and twin brothers Christopher and Gregory Mitchell from Born in the North.
Leslie Kachena McCue is a member of the Mississaugas of Curve Lake First Nation, currently living and working in Ajax, ON. Leslie is an artist who also works freelance for various organizations in performance, arts administration, facilitation, project coordination and curation. Leslie is a three-year Fellow for the International Society for the Performing Arts and an artist in the Thread Residency with Musagetes Foundation
Theresa Burning is a Seneca/Ojibway woman who started beading at 12 years old. Throughout the years, she’s had the opportunity to grow in her crafts by meeting people who supported her beading and requested pieces that pushed her comfort level. She hopes to one day pass her knowledge on to her grandchildren.
Bruno Henry is originally from Six Nations of the Grand River in Ontario and is now living in Toronto. He continues to bring his artistic visions to life through photography, clothing, jewellery, stone carvings and other various crafts.
Born In The North is the design duo of twin brothers, Christopher and Gregory Mitchell. They are multidisciplinary artists whose work is inspired by their Mi’kmaq ancestry and Canadian upbringing. Christopher and Gregory started doing freelance graphic design while attending college in Brooklyn, New York. After moving back to Canada, the brothers started designing clothing and opened an online shop
The Written Word as Cultural Conduit Panel
Starting June 17, poet and publisher Janet Rogers hosts a discussion with Indigi-Lit’s strongest influencers and newest contributors, featuring authors Tanya Talaga, Joshua Whitehead and Tànchày Redvers.
Janet Rogers is a Mohawk/Tuscarora poet, media producer and mentor living and working from her home territory of Six Nations of the Grand River. Janet has seven published poetry books, multiple video poems and operates Ojistoh Publishing from where she is supporting new Indigenous authors.
Joshua Whitehead (he/him) is a Two-Spirit, Oji-nêhiyaw member of Peguis First Nation (Treaty 1). He is currently a Ph.D. candidate, lecturer, and Killam scholar at the University of Calgary where he studies Indigenous literatures and cultures with a focus on gender and sexuality. He is the award-winning author of Full-metal Indigiqueer and Jonny Appleseed
T’áncháy Redvers is a Dene/Métis two-spirit social justice warrior, writer, creator, public speaker, and multidisciplinary performer belonging to Deninu K’ue First Nation. They have been nationally and internationally recognized for their work and advocacy, having co-founded We Matter, a national Indigenous-led organization dedicated to Indigenous youth hope and life promotion. Their debut book of poetry, Fireweed, was released in 2019.
Tanya Talaga is an Anishinaabe journalist and speaker. Talaga’s mother’s family is from Fort William First Nation and her father was Polish-Canadian. Her first book, Seven Fallen Feathers, is a national bestseller. Her second book, All Our Relations: Finding The Path Forward, is also a national bestseller. Talaga heads up Makwa Creative Inc., a production company focused on amplifying Indigenous voices through documentary films, TV and podcasts.
Enjoy pre-recorded hip-hop performances, watch award-winning films and join a lunch-and-learn panel discussion with the community partners.
On the weekends of June 11 and 25, Toronto History Museums premiere pre-recorded hip-hop performances from emerging Indigenous freestyle dancers Slim Peanut and River WH. Performances can be viewed from June 11 at noon until June 14 at noon and June 25 at noon until June 28 at noon.
Kean Buffalo (Slim Peanut) is an Indigenous hip-hop and freestyle dancer from Ermineskin Cree Nation (Maskwasic, Alberta). At 22 years old, he has been dancing for over a decade, bringing light and happiness to others through movement and inspires youth to see a better path forward.
River WaterHen (RiverWH) is a freestyle hip-hop dancer from Ministikwan Lake Cree Nation, Saskatchewan. Dancing since the age of six, River finds and offers others inspiration through dance, shining a light on modern and traditional Indigenous styles of performance.
imagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival
On June 16 and 30, the World’s largest presenter of Indigenous screen content showcases award-winning films online. Join a question and answer session, following the June 30 film screening.
June 16 – Documentary Film Focus: Shadow of Dumont
June 30 – Dramatic Film Focus: Monkey Beach
Reconciliation Through Education
From June 18 at noon until July 6 at noon, tune in to two films produced by the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation: Niibi (Water), a youth theatre performance and an educational film celebrating the Moccasin Identifier Project created by Carolyn King.
The Moccasin Identifier Project
An Exploration and Reflection of Indigenous Peoples Month
On June 30 at noon, join a lunch-and-learn panel discussion with community partners.
Experience Indigenous cuisine and culture with a series of events including “Kiin awiiya jiibaakwe – Everyone is Cooking”, ” Miijim Dibaajimowaan – Food Stories” and “National Indigenous Peoples Day Feast”.
Kiin awiiya jiibaakwe – Everyone is Cooking
Celebrate food and kinship with “Kiin awiiya jiibaakwe – Everyone is Cooking“, a multimedia exhibit, produced in partnership with the University of Toronto School of Information. The exhibit runs from June 18 to August 31.
Miijim Dibaajimowaan – Food Stories
On National Indigenous Peoples Day weekend, from June 18 at noon until June 21 at noon, join a panel sharing food traditions and family stories moderated by Audrey Rochette. Panelists include Chef Billy Alexander, Brenda Wastasecoot, Elder Shishigo Gijig and Joseph Pitawanakwat.
National Indigenous Peoples Day Feast
The National Indigenous Peoples Day Feast celebrates Indigenous food and provides those living at Na-Me-Res (Native Men’s Residence) with an exquisite traditional meal prepared by Chef Billy Alexander. This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada.
Members of the public will be able to purchase their own traditional meal for contactless pick-up at Fort York. Pre-order your meal for Sunday, June 20.
Na-Me-Res (Native Mens’ Residence) provides emergency services to Toronto-based Indigenous men who were without a place to live for over 30 years. Since 2013, Na-Me-Res has been a community partner of Toronto History Museums’ Indigenous Arts Festival, gathering at Fort York for an annual Pow Wow.
Indigenous Peoples Month Task Force
Indigenous Peoples Month Task Force is formed to support the programming of Indigenous Peoples Month at Toronto History Museums. The programming is rooted in the principles of the seven grandfather teachings, an Anishnaabe philosophy.
Jai King-Green is from the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and is Bear Clan. At the young age of 15, she picked up a needle and thread and has taught herself how to bead and sew and has done it ever since, creating beautiful pieces of art.
Caitlin La Forme is an Anishinaabe-kwe from Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and is Turtle clan. She enjoys creating pieces of beadwork, quillwork and leatherwork casually in her spare time and learned most of the art forms she loves through workshops in her community.
Savanna Chiblow is an Anishinaabe-kwe from Mississaugi First Nation. She is a digital communications storyteller and community builder. Savanna has worked in a variety of communications teams from imagineNATIVE, REEL CANADA, Artscape, TIFF, and more. She is currently the Marketing and Communications Officer at Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment and Training. Savanna lives in Tkaronto with her partner, three cats and a dog.
Jessica Lea Fleming is a Wiisaakodewinikwe (Métis) / Scottish-settler cisgender woman originally from Penetanguishene, Ontario. She is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, producer and performer creating for stage and screen. Currently, Jessica is the Associate Director at imagineNATIVE, is part of Luminato’s Fall Artist Residency and is the inaugural Artist-in-Residence at Theatre Aquarius. She sits on the Independent Media Arts Alliance Working Group, K.M. Hunter Foundation Board of Directors and actively volunteers with organizations working to end violence against women and 2S folks, as well as food insecurity.
Teagan de Laronde is Métis and a member of Red Sky Métis Independent Nation. She is currently enrolled at the University of Toronto pursuing an Indigenous Studies Specialist. Teagan is the current President of the Indigenous Studies Student Union at the University of Toronto, and a co-chair of the ‘BIPOC in Politics’ student initiative for the Department of Political Science.
Message from the Mayor
Mayor John Tory welcomes you to enjoy Indigenous Peoples Month with the Toronto History Museums.
* Content posted on “Indigenous People’s Month” operates under the principles of anti-oppression, anti-colonialism, sustainability, advocacy and storytelling. The content, views and opinions expressed are those of the individual storyteller/presenter/producer and does not necessarily represent the City of Toronto’s views or opinions or an endorsement of such views or opinions by the City of Toronto.The City of Toronto is not responsible for any legal claims, costs, damages, liabilities, or obligations arising from the use or misuse of any content presented or filmed as part of the “Indigenous People’s Month” program. The City of Toronto does not guarantee or warrant the quality, accuracy or completeness of the information presented or filmed as part of the “Indigenous People’s Month” program.