Digital Living – Indigenous Peoples Day 2022

Post by Information Services staff

Kitchener Public Library is situated on land that is the traditional home of the Haudenosaunee (Ho-deh-no-show-nee), Anishinaabe (Ah-nish-nah-bay) and Neutral People. We recognize and deeply appreciate their historic connection to this place. We also recognize the contributions Indigenous peoples have made in shaping and strengthening this community. We are grateful for the opportunity to meet here and re-affirm our collective commitment to make the promise and the challenge of Truth and Reconciliation real in our community. 

In honour and recognition of June 21st, National Indigenous Peoples Day, our galleries this month highlight Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer stories, Indigenous cooking and culture, and accounts of modern Indigenous identity.   

This June, take the opportunity to discover new Indigenous musicians to listen to all year round. This playlist features a variety of genres, and a range of incredible artists such as Buffy Saint-Marie, The Halluci Nation (formerly A Tribe Called Red), Willie Dunn and more! 

Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Stories  

These entries highlight the varied experiences of Two-Spirit and/or Indigiqueer people. The term Two-Spirit originated in Winnipeg, Canada in 1990 during the 3rd annual intertribal Native American/First Nations gay and lesbian conference. It comes from the Ojibwa words niizh manitoag (two-spirits). Some Indigenous people instead use the term Indigiqueer, created by Thirza Cuthand to title the Vancouver Queer Film Festival’s Indigenous/two-spirit program in 2004. Some folks use both words to encompass the full spectrum of their identity. 

Indigenous Eats 

Explore some of the ways that food is a part of Indigenous cultures, from sustainable land use to modern interpretations of traditional fare.  

Modern Indigenous Identity 

Indigenous peoples are often portrayed as a monolith, despite their numerous distinct cultures across Canada. They are also often viewed as only existing in the past or on reserves, but more than half of them live in urban areas. Since these issues, combined with attempted forced assimilation in Canada, leave Indigenous peoples invisible, here we feature stories that focus on Indigenous identities here and now. 

More to Explore

Healing of the Seven Generations 

This organization assists First Peoples from the Region of Waterloo and surrounding area who are suffering the inter-generational impacts of the residential school system. They offer a wide range of programs and services for all ages.  

Anishnabeg Outreach 

This organization works to provide Indigenous peoples services and support regarding employment, mental health and tech mentoring. They also run EarlyON programming which provides children, parents and caregivers a safe place to learn and grow together and reconciliation training.

KW Urban Native Wigwam Project 

This organization works to enhance the quality of life for the Indigenous community by providing affordable housing and rent supplements. They also provide workshops and vaccination clinics.  

Land Back Camp 

Land Back Camp began in June 2020 and demanded change from the Cities of Waterloo and Kitchener in regards to creating easier access to space for Indigenous peoples to gather in the region. They are still working to have all of their demands met and are looking for a place to gather for 2022.  

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