For some Canadians, the unique and majestic history of the Indigenous peoples in Canada is not well known – and with that, National Indigenous Peoples Day was born. Since its inauguration in 1996, each year on June 21st, we recognize National Indigenous Peoples Day in Canada – an annual reminder for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the diverse cultures and heritage of the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples and the many ways they enrich Canadian culture. From their rich history and art to their historic culture and traditions, Indigenous communities have played a pivotal role in Canada’s history and continue to shape our nation today. With that said, we recognize that we must honour the heritage and culture of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada, not just on National Indigenous Peoples Day, but every day.
Canada’s credit unions recognize that the Indigenous peoples are the traditional guardians of the land that Canadians call home. By acknowledging the truth of our collective history, we can work towards building reconciliation and fostering healing, financial empowerment, and employment opportunities for Indigenous communities in Canada.
In honour of Indigenous Peoples Day, we are sharing a few examples of how credit unions across Canada have shown their appreciation for Indigenous culture and history and are working to support and empower these communities from coast to coast.
- Libro Credit Union
Libro Credit Union has long been committed to pushing forward diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts – including fostering paths toward reconciliation with the Indigenous communities across southwestern Ontario. In September 2022, the credit union offered financial support to the local Indigenous drum group Warrior Womyn of Positive Drum’s performance at the Drums of Canada concert in London, Ontario. The group conducted a drum circle performance at the concert to celebrate Indigenous culture, foster healing for the Indigenous communities in Ontario, and promote the importance of adopting the principles of peace and friendship to ignite longstanding unity amongst the various communities within Canada.
- Meridian Credit Union
Last year, Meridian Credit Union partnered with Niagara College as a presenting sponsor of the Indigenous programming during the 2022 Niagara Summer Games. Through this partnership, the credit union celebrated not only the wonder of Canadian sports, but the beauty of Canada’s Indigenous communities and their remarkable heritage by spotlighting the traditions, dances, songs, and craftsmanship of the First Nations, Metis, and Inuit people throughout the event. Meridian helped to display Indigenous culture at the games by participating in the lighting of a Sacred Fire ceremony and supporting Indigenous artist performances, including one of the event’s major cultural events – the creation of a Community of Nations activation at Canada Games Park.
- Innovation Credit Union
When it comes to supporting Indigenous communities, credit unions don’t just talk the talk – they walk the walk too! As value-based financial institutions, credit unions are entrenched in their communities and are committed to helping Indigenous communities grow and thrive.
In May 2023, Innovation Credit Union highlighted its admiration for Indigenous culture by developing the Innovation Indigenous Arts Partnership Project (IAPP) – a community youth program designed for Indigenous youth and their neighbours to learn more about Indigenous culture, art, and history through small group activities. The credit union developed this innovative project to help amplify First Nations culture amongst Indigenous youth through exposure to positive experiences, offering opportunities for Indigenous families to bond through collective learning about Indigenous culture and art in an inclusive environment and producing immersive experiences to further reconciliation efforts among Canadians. By developing this project, Innovation is making a considerable effort to unite the community and ensure the long-term preservation of Indigenous culture and history in Canada through communal activities. Simply put, credit unions know that when we come together that we can make wonderful things happen for our Indigenous youth and those in our community – that’s the credit union difference.
These are just a few examples of how Canada’s Credit Unions’ are making efforts to move truth and reconciliation forward, celebrate Indigenous culture and heritage, and create transformative cross-cultural learning experiences for all.
Be part of a financial institution that supports its Indigenous communities…become a credit union member
From coast to coast, credit unions have taken steps to learn, listen, and develop programs focused on amplifying awareness and educating Canadians about Indigenous culture. Create a pathway toward a more unified nation by choosing a financial institution that is dedicated to helping all communities prosper, both socially and financially. Not yet a credit union member? To find your nearest credit union, click here.