Central Library is closed for the day (June 22) due to a facility issue.

Calgary Public Library Recognizes National Indigenous History Month

Calgary Public Library hosts events and activities throughout June to celebrate and honour First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples and culture.

Calgary Public Library gathered with the community at The Confluence on Saturday, June 1 to kick off National Indigenous History Month. 

The community gathering featured an opening ceremony with a blessing from Nakoda Elder Alice Kaquitts, a round dance led by Skip Wolfleg, tipi raising and teachings, traditional Dene and Inuit games, art. Carolyn Buffalo and Noah Buffalo-Jackson also spoke after a screening of Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger. The day kicks off a month full of events, activities, and resources offered by the Library and partners to celebrate and honour First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples and culture. 

“National Indigenous History Month is an opportunity to celebrate the rich cultures, histories, stories, and contributions of Indigenous peoples across the country and right here in Wîcîspa, Guts’ists’i, and Moh’kinstsis,” says Sarah Meilleur, CEO of Calgary Public Library. “The Library is honoured to support and host Indigenous-led programming throughout the year, and our annual June programming has become a popular tradition.  

Guided by the Calls to Action and White Goose Flying report, the Library is committed to increasing awareness and understanding of Indigenous ways of being, knowing, and doing by listening to, learning from, and building relationships with local Indigenous communities. Year-round, patrons can visit eight locations with Indigenous Placemaking — installations by artists from or with a connection to Treaty 7 — visit elders from different nations at the Elders' Guidance Circle, have access to important resources, and so much more.  

There are a variety of events and programs in the coming weeks specifically for National Indigenous History Month.  

“Events like these highlight the diversity of Indigenous people as we continue to work to increase community awareness and understanding in a fun and accessible way. There is a lot to celebrate, but it’s also a chance to reflect and grow,” says Kelli Morning Bull, Calgary Public Library Service Design Lead. “The Library’s events and programs during National Indigenous History Month not only bring people in Treaty 7 together, they also serve as an opportunity to continue to learn how we can create a sense of belonging for everyone.”  

Neighbour Day 

Neighbour Day on June 15 is a celebration of community connection in Wîcîspa, Guts’ists’I, and Moh’kinstsis (Calgary). There will be special programming at several Library locations with an Indigenous Placemaking installation – Seton, Shawnessy, Umbach, Crowfoot, and Saddletowne libraries. Later that evening at Central Library, The Secret Path with Mike Downie will explore the dark chapter of residential schools and share the importance of reconciliation.  

National Indigenous Peoples Day 

National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21 is a time to recognize and celebrate the history, heritage, resilience, and diversity of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis across Canada. At Central Library, there will be traditional games, a drum circle in partnership with Miskanawah, and a book launch for Îethka: Stories and Language in Stoney Nakoda Country.    

Featured Artist 

The Library will also be featuring artwork created by Paityn Savoie for National Indigenous History Month displays. Paityn is a Métis-Cree two-spirit illustrator. Their art is informed by their Indigenous heritage, their connection to the natural world, and the spiritual essence of the Creator.  

Drawing from the traditions of Cree woodland art and the intricate beauty of Métis beadwork, their style is a unique synthesis, enriched by their illustration skills. Their creation for the Library interweaves elements of Treaty 7 regions – grasslands, parkland, foothills, boreal forest, Rocky Mountains, and shields – back to The Tree of Life. 

For more information about events and resources visit calgarylibrary.ca/indigenous-services. 

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