Indigenous People's Day in Canada vs. Canada Day

Indigenous People's Day in Canada vs. Canada Day

Is National Indigenous People’s Day DIFFERENT from Canada Day?

There’s a lot of confusion surrounding the DIFFERENCE between National Indigenous People’s Day in Canada and Canada Day.

While both are celebrated IN Canada they have a few very Important differences.

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Weather you are indigneous or your non-indigneous supporter and want to participate in indigenous peoples day celebrations - you likely experience some of the challenges we talk about in today's article

To find out EXACLTy what these challenges are in celebrating indigenous peoples day, and how to overcome them so that you can not only celebrate but make the most of Indigenous People’s Day then keep reading to find out.


#1 What Is Indigenous People’s Day Vs. Canada Day?

To start off, both days are national holidays in Canada. However, they celebrate different things.

National Indigenous Peoples Day is the day to celebrate the history, heritage, and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples in Canada. It started in 1996.

Canada Day, however, started long before Indigenous People’s Day. July 1, 1867 is the day the British North America Act formally joined the colonies, creating the semi-independent Dominion of Canada. That’s why you might also hear Canada Day called “Dominion Day.” In 1982, Canada became fully independent and July 1 has become a kind of “independence day” ever since.

So, to put it simply, Canada Day celebrates the independence of the entire country, whereas Indigenous People’s Day specifically celebrates Indigenous people and culture.

#2 Who Can Celebrate Indigenous People’s Day Vs Canada Day?

This answer is the same for both celebrations: anyone! Whether you’re Indigenous, mixed, non-Indigenous, an ally, a Canadian, an American, or an immigrant – you can celebrate both Indigenous People’s Day or Canada Day or both!

All you need to know is how to celebrate appropriately, which we will talk about in the rest of this article!

#3 When And Where Do You Celebrate Indigenous People’s Day Vs Canada Day?

Indigenous People’s Day and Canada Day are both Canadian holidays, but they can be celebrated anywhere! If you’re an Indigenous person, an ally, or someone with ties to Canada, you can celebrate either day wherever you are.

Indigenous People’s Day is celebrated on June 21. The Government of Canada chose this date because it is the summer solstice, which many Indigenous people and communities have used as a day to celebrate their culture because of the significance of the summer solstice as the longest day of the year.

Canada Day is celebrated on July 1 because, again, this is the day recognized as the day Canada became independent.

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There is no right or wrong way to celebrate either day, as long as you are being respectful of Indigenous Culture.


If you want to know what that means and learn more about being a GOOD ALLY, you can read this article


There are a few main ways most people celebrate these days.

Canada Day is often celebrated with parades, displays of the Canadian flag, fireworks, and singing the national anthem. It’s a patriotic holiday.

Indigenous Peoples Day is a time to celebrate Indigenous communities, heritage, and culture. What that looks like varies from person to person.

Indigenous people recognize this day by celebrating their culture through gatherings, community, and traditions.

Whether you’re Indigenous or not, one way to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day is to engage with the culture, learn about it, or engage with members of the community.

You might spend the day learning more about Indigenous people. You might visit an Indigenous art exhibit or performance or make a purchase from an Indigenous creator.

There are many ways to celebrate both days – but both days give you the opportunity to create your own ways to celebrate.

#5 How Do You Know Which To Celebrate? Can You Celebrate Both Indigenous Peoples Day And Canada Day?

You can absolutely celebrate both days. You don’t have to be Indigenous to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day. And you don’t have to be Canadian to celebrate Canada Day!

Both of these days are about celebrating the history and culture of Canada in a different way. They are not mutually exclusive.

However, maybe one day feels more important to you than the other or you can identify with one more than the other. It’s up to you if you decide to celebrate one, both, or neither holiday.


The most important thing is to educate yourself about these important days in Canadian culture and learn what they mean so you can honor them properly.

By reading this article, you’ve already learned the answer to FIVE important questions about Indigenous People’s Day in Canada vs Canada Day.

Now you’ll know which day or days to celebrate this summer and exactly how to spend your day.

If you want to learn more about indigenous people, cultures, practices, and beliefs, visit our website, Tribal Trade Co., for tons of resources at your fingertips.



Tribal Teachings is safe & inclusive community for people to share, connect, and celebrate their personal journey's with Indigenous cultural teachings.


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