Recommendations by Karen C

National Indigenous People's Day logo

We respectfully acknowledge that we are on the treaty and traditional territory of the Michi Saagiig Anishinaabeg. We offer our gratitude to the First Peoples for their care for, and teachings about, our earth and our relations. May we honour those teachings.

Every day, Library staff and visitors walk by these words written on the wall of the Library’s lobby. We read this aloud at the beginning of official events, important meetings and organized gatherings, and our children hear them over the PA system during morning announcements. We do this to remind ourselves of the history of colonialism and the need for us to reconcile the events and actions of the past that have brought us to our place in this present.

We didn’t always read aloud land acknowledgement statements - it has taken several years for different institutions and organizations to embrace the practice. The Library workers’ CUPE union local only just amended our Bylaws this year to include the land acknowledgement at the beginning of our meetings. It will take time for us to get used to this new addition to our routine, but it is our hope that these words of acknowledgement will continue to be provocative. By challenging a colonial approach to Indigenous peoples and the land, we allow these words to be transformative:  we can carry them with intention into our school or workday, our meetings, and ultimately, every aspect of our lives.

National Indigenous History Month 2021 themed posterFor the entire month of June, we celebrate National Indigenous History Month to learn about, appreciate and acknowledge the First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples’ unique heritage, cultural diversity, and contributions to our society. Out of respect for the significance of the summer solstice to many of the Indigenous peoples, June 21 is recognized as National Indigenous Peoples Day.

Here are some ways to explore more about First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples while safely at home:

Peterborough Public Library is celebrating Indigenous arts and culture this June by reading Chasing Painted Horses, the Adult Book Club’s selection by Drew Hayden Taylor. We invite you to join our group as we talk with the author himself at the 7 pm Adult Book Club meeting on Tuesday, June 22 via Zoom.

Stylized handprint designed by artist Michelle StoneyAs well, National Indigenous History Month in 2021 is dedicated to the missing children, the families left behind and the survivors of residential schools. We invite you to join us in honouring the lives of the children lost in body and in spirit to residential schools by tying your own ribbon in remembrance outside the Library. “Ribbon skirts and ribbon shirts are formal, traditional, and contemporary clothing in Indigenous culture,” our CEO Library Manager Jennifer Jones explained to staff: “As these come in all colours, all colours of ribbon are welcome.” If you don't have your own ribbon, we have made some available at our Main Check-Out Desk.

To learn more about the history and impact of the residential school system in our country, here are a few titles in our collection:

Young Adults