First introduced in 1992, with the purpose of increasing awareness of Aboriginal peoples within the federal public service, Aboriginal Awareness Week has largely focused on giving federal public servants an opportunity to learn more about the Métis, Inuit, and First Nation peoples. We are moving beyond this original mandate to provide meaningful events for the general public to explore contemporary indigenous life in Canada.

Each day of Aboriginal Awareness Week is hosted by different organizations:


May 21, 2014

VIDEA: Navigating Colonialism through Self-Reflection and Empathy from 7:00-9:00 at Wilna Thomas (Camosun). Many people living in Canada today struggle to comprehend the atrocity of residential schools and their long lasting effects on Aboriginal communities. This workshop seeks to deepen empathy and understanding for those struggling to heal from the ongoing effects of colonization as a whole. Sage Armitage is Swiss and Cree, and the mother of Coast Salish children. Her experience as an indigenous person who inherited her mother’s white skin resulted in a unique perspective and the development of a compassionate process for reconciliation.

May 22, 2014

PKOLS: Join the WSANEC nation in commemorating the one year anniversary of the renaming of PKOLS. We are gathering at the base of PKOLS at 5:00 and will have a picnic (bring your own food) at the top at 6:00. Check out the “Celebrate PKOLS!” facebook event for more information.

May 23, 2014

Amnesty International: Film Night with speakers from 7:00-9:00 at Wilna Thomas (Camosun). The movie is HI-Ho Mistahey. In this feature-length documentary, Alanis Obomsawin tells the story of Shannen’s Dream, a national campaign to provide equitable access to education in safe and suitable schools for First Nations children. Strong participation in this initiative eventually brings Shannen’s Dream all the way to the United Nations in Geneva. She died in a car accident, but people like Cindy Blastock have carried on her work.

May 24, 2014

Hands-On Home-Learning: Family Event from 10:00-4:00 at Fernwood Community Centre. Oak and Orca School/Hands-On Home-Learning joins VIDEA in hosting a Family Day where we invite you to explore and enquire into contemporary indigenous life. Together Aboriginal peoples and Canadians revisit their historical relationships to re-imagine our shared future.
Come learn about the continuing legacy of colonialism in a welcoming and accessible environment and discuss meaningful ways to rebuild our broken relationships. There will be workshops for adults and for children & families, a kids space (this is a Ready, Set, Learn event), community organization booths, youth-made film and displays, and free coffee and tea.

Find more info at Aboriginal Awareness Week on Facebook.