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Celebrate Canada Festival
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Celebrate Canada Festival

Celebrate Canada! Did you know that the official celebrations for the anniversary of Confederation actually begin in the month of June and end with the Canada Day celebrations on 1 July?

Every 1 July, Albertans join the rest of Canadians in celebrating the anniversary of Canada’s Confederation, which originally took place on 1 July 1867. What some Albertans and other Canadians may not know is that the official celebration of Canada’s birthday is an eleven-day Celebrate Canada! festival starting on 21 June and culminating on the 1 July Canada Day holiday. The Heritage Community Foundation invites you to celebrate this festival and the three special days focused on the people of Canada and their unique contributions to Canadian heritage: National Aboriginal Day, which takes place on 21 June; Saint Jean Baptiste Day on 24 June; and Canadian Multiculturalism Day on 27 June.

 

National Aboriginal Day

In 1982, the National Indian Brotherhood (now the Assembly of First Nations), called for the creation of National Aboriginal Solidarity Day to be celebrated on 21 June to coincide with the summer solstice celebrations that have prominence in many First Nations cultures across Canada. In 1996, 21 June was officially recognized in Alberta and the rest of Canada as National Aboriginal Day and as the first day in the eleven-day Celebrate Canada! festival. In 2006, the tenth anniversary of this nationwide celebration of Aboriginal heritage, the Heritage Community Foundation invites you to explore the following websites on the Alberta Online Encyclopedia for more on Alberta’s Aboriginal history:

Aboriginal Youth Identity Edukits
This series of eleven educational websites leads students and teachers through different faces of Aboriginal culture such as language and spirituality, and reveals Aboriginal perspectives on such subjects as math, science, and physical education.
Alberta: How the West Was Young
This website traces Aboriginal history in Alberta from its earliest beginnings in the years following the Ice Age to the coming of the European Fur Trade and Christian Missions.
Alex Decoteau Edukit
The inspiring story of Alex Decoteau, Canada’s first Aboriginal police officer and an Olympic athlete, is waiting to be discovered in this online multimedia resource.
Elders’ Voices
Explore the traditional and contemporary importance of Elders in Aboriginal society in this website.
The Making of Treaty 8 in Canada’s Northwest
An in-depth look at the historical and contemporary issues surrounding the signing of Treaty 8 and the consequences for Aboriginal people in what is now northern Alberta.
The Métis in Alberta
An exploration of the “children of the fur trade” and the evolution of their unique culture in Canada’s northwest.
Nature’s Laws
Discover the ways in which traditional Aboriginal cultures were governed and guided through a deep connection with the land and a profound respect of nature’s laws.
People of the Boreal Forest
Based on Terry Garvin’s book, Carving Faces, Carving Lives (hyperlink to bottom of page at http://www.albertasource.ca/aoe/ui/index.aspx ), this website offers a glimpse into the world of those who lived by traditional hunting and trapping methods in the northwest Boreal Forest.
Treaty 7
Learn about the First Nations peoples of the plains of what is now southern Alberta, and how these peoples were affected by the signing of Treaty 7 with the Canadian government in 1877.
These are just some of the online resources you will find on Aboriginal history and culture in Alberta! Search the Alberta Online Encyclopedia for much more!

 

 

Saint Jean Baptiste Day

The second of the three special observance days in the Celebrate Canada! festival, Saint Jean Baptiste Day is a time for Albertans to join the rest of Canada in honouring the enormous impact that French Canadians have had on Canadian history and culture. Saint Jean Baptiste Day has seen its share of evolution over the years, tracing its earliest origins to ancient summer solstice rituals practised in France. The summer solstice celebrations, originally celebrated on 21 June, were later Christianized into a religious feast day (set on 24 June) honouring Saint John the Baptist and carried into the New World by French explorers and settlers. In Canada, Saint Jean Baptiste Day took on a more secular and patriotic tone starting around 1834 and is now celebrated as a national holiday in Quebec and a celebration of Francophone cultural pride in the rest of French Canada. This 24 June, join the Heritage Community Foundation in celebrating St. Jean Baptiste Day by checking out these websites marking Francophone history in Alberta:


Alberta’s Francophone Heritage Website and Edukit
This website covers the history of Francophone settlement in Alberta from the time of early French exploration of North America to the present day. The Francophone Heritage Edukit offers students and teachers a number of interactive materials to further explore and learn about Franco-Albertan heritage.
The Métis in Alberta
The Métis were the first French speaking people to settle in the northwest, and their vibrant culture has carried an important impact on Alberta’s history. Discover this fascinating culture in this website.
St. Vincent and St. Paul: Memory in Francophone Alberta
Shaped by the fur trade and Catholic Christian Missions, the St. Vincent and St. Paul communities stand as testaments to Francophone presence in Alberta. Explore the histories of these Francophone communities here.

Also, check out the French language versions of these websites on the Alberta Online Encyclopedia:

CKUA Sound Archives
Experience in sight and sound the history of one of Alberta’s most precious cultural resources: the CKUA Radio Network, in this dynamic multimedia presentation.
The Making of Treaty 8 in Canada’s Northwest
An in-depth look at the historical and contemporary issues surrounding the signing of Treaty 8 and the consequences for Aboriginal people in what is now northern Alberta.
The Women of Aspenland
Beautiful photographs and stirring text recount the stories of women who lived in and helped to build the communities of central Alberta.

For more information about life in Francophone Alberta, please go to [Websites in French]:

 

 

Canadian Multiculturalism Day

Every 27 June, Albertans and other Canadians can reflect on the many peoples and cultures that have come from around the world to form this nation we call Canada. In 2002, the Government of Canada by Royal Proclamation declared 27 June to be Canadian Multiculturalism Day. Canadian Multiculturalism Day is the third major observance day in the eleven-day Celebrate Canada! festival, and the last big day before Canada Day on 1 July. It is a celebration of racial and cultural diversity and a recognition of Canada’s unique place on the world stage. Celebrate Alberta’s and Canada’s multicultural heritage with the Heritage Community Foundation by exploring these websites and Edukits on the Alberta Online Encyclopedia:

Aboriginal Youth Identity Edukits
This series of eleven educational websites leads students and teachers through different faces of Aboriginal culture such as language and spirituality, exploring Aboriginal perspectives on such subjects as math, science, and physical education.
Alberta: Home, Home on the Plains
Alberta’s settlers came from many lands to start a new life in the west. Enter this website and follow the stories of American Black, Chinese, Japanese, German, Italian, Ukrainian, and other racial and ethnic groups as they carved their niches in the prairies.
Alberta: How the West was Young
This website traces Aboriginal history in Alberta from its earliest beginnings in the years following the Ice Age to the coming of the European Fur Trade and Christian Missions.
Albertans: Who Do They Think They Are?
A multimedia history of multiculturalism in Alberta, exploring patterns of settlement and immigration in Alberta and recounting the experiences of the peoples who came from many different lands to start a new life in the west.
Celebrating Alberta’s Italian Community
A colourful, vibrant, and extensive history of Alberta’s Italian community online. This website explores how the Italian people transplanted their culture into a western Canadian framework and how, from humble beginnings, the Italian community has evolved into the strong and prosperous community it is today.
Alberta’s Francophone Heritage Website and Edukit
This website covers the history of Francophone settlement in Alberta from the time of early French exploration of North America to the present day. The Francophone Heritage Edukit offers students and teachers a number of interactive materials to further explore and learn about Franco-Albertan heritage.
Heritage Diversity Edukit Series
An online salute to Alberta’s rich multicultural heritage, the Heritage Diversity Edukit series of five educational websites is an invaluable resource for students and teachers. Discover Alberta settlement and history through the eyes of Black and Latino communities, or expand your world knowledge by taking a multimedia trip to Rwanda, the West Balkans, or the Middle East!
The Métis in Alberta
The Métis were the first French speaking people to settle in the northwest, and their vibrant culture has carried an important impact on Alberta’s history. Discover this fascinating culture in this website.
People of the Boreal Forest
Based on Terry Garvin’s book, Carving Faces, Carving Lives, this website offers a glimpse into the world of those who lived by traditional hunting and trapping methods in the northwest Boreal Forest.