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and Parks Month
There are a number of special days in June
that provide the perfect opportunity to
acknowledge the many benefits of recreation
June 1: Intergenerational Day
Intergenerational Day was created in 2010 to raise awareness of the many benefits of respectful relations between generations. For instance, when people of different ages spend time together, it results in increased empathy and a reduction in ageism and isolation. It also provides an excellent occasion to share culture and knowledge.
Recreation can be the perfect vehicle for bringing different generations together and providing opportunities for fun, learning, and connection. Celebrate this day by engaging in your favourite recreational activities in a physically distant way, or finding new ways to spend time with family, friends, and community members of different generations.
June 4: National Health and Fitness Day
In 2014, the National Health and Fitness Day Act was passed, establishing a day to promote health and fitness for all Canadians. With preventable illnesses on the rise and daily physical activity on the decline, this initiative aims to raise awareness and challenge Canadians to live a more active life.
Physical activity contributes to improved health, both physical and mental, and enhances quality of life. Take time to celebrate by getting up, getting out, and getting active on the first Saturday of June.
June 4: International Trails Day
International Trails Day falls on the first Saturday of June. This event grew out of National Trails Day, created in 1992 by the American Hiking Society. While National Trails Day is still celebrated in the United States, its international counterpart encourages people across the globe to show their appreciation for trails and the people that build and maintain them.
Trails encourage healthy lifestyles and provide opportunities for people to connect with the land. Celebrate International Trails Day by heading out to your favourite local trail or visiting a new one.
June 5: World Environment Day
In 1974, the United Nations designated June 5: World Environment Day. The goal of this initiative was to deepen environmental awareness and global acknowledgement of the importance of environmental preservation and enhancement.
Each year, World Environment Day has a theme. The focus in 2019 was air pollution. What can you do to #BeatAirPollution? One way is to choose active transportation. Celebrate World Environment Day by leaving your vehicle at home and biking or walking instead; it’s great for the environment and offers a host of health benefits to you.
June 5: Inuvialuit Day
Inuvialuit Day marks the anniversary of the signing of the Inuvialuit Final Agreement, which took place on June 5, 1984. This was the first comprehensive land claim agreement to be signed north of 60, and the second ever signed in Canada. The agreement established the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, which includes the communities of Aklavik, Ulukhaktok, Inuvik, Paulatuk, Sachs Harbour, and Tuktoyaktuk.
Inuvialuit Day is usually celebrated with drum dancing, music, northern games, and plenty of traditional food, including muktuk, char chowder, and goose. If you’re in Inuvik on June 5, Jim Koe Park may have festivities, but you can also recognize the important day at home, and out on the land.
June 8: World Oceans Day
Oceans affect rainwater, weather, coastlines, food, medicines, the air we breathe, and much more. While the concept was first proposed in 1992, it wasn’t until 2008 that the United Nations officially designated June 8 as World Oceans Day. This initiative was created to increase awareness of the role oceans play in our lives and the ways we can protect them.
Like World Environment Day, World Oceans Day always has a theme. In 2019, the focus was gender and the ocean. If you’re lucky enough to live in one of the NWT’s coastal communities, this is the perfect opportunity to spend time on the water or ice. If you’re a little further from the Arctic Ocean, show your appreciation for World Oceans Day by visiting the link below to learn more about how gender equity relates to oceans.
June 15: World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
In 2011, the United Nations designated June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. This day sheds light on a social problem that is often hidden, but which affects an estimated 1 in 6 older adults. While Elder abuse can be physical, it also comes in other forms such as neglect or financial abuse.
Participate in World Elder Abuse Awareness Day by taking time to connect with older generations in a respectful, meaningful way.
June 15 is also a good opportunity to educate yourself on the signs of Elder abuse and what you can do to help. Check out our feature news post from 2019 for World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
June 21: National Indigenous Peoples Day
National Indigenous Peoples Day, formerly National Aboriginal Day, was created in 1996 and renamed in 2017. This day celebrates the achievements, heritage, and rich cultures of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples in the place that came to be called Canada. June 21 was chosen to coincide with the summer solstice, a significant date for many Indigenous nations and peoples.
National Indigenous Peoples Day has been a statutory holiday in the NWT since 2001. Celebrations usually take place across the territory, but may look different this year. Fish fries, canoe races, drum dances, traditional games, and musical performances are some of the ways that communities in the NWT commemorate June 21. Even if there may not be an event near you, National Indigenous Peoples Day is an important opportunity to celebrate or connect with your Indigenous heritage, or the local Indigenous peoples of the land you live on, and to learn more about the unique cultures and history of all Indigenous peoples in the NWT.
June 24: Saint-Jean Baptiste Day
June 24 is Saint-Jean Baptiste Day in Canada. Also known as Fête Nationale du Québec and Fête de la Francophonie Canadienne, this day celebrates the contributions, heritage, and culture of French-Canadians.
Music, food, and festivities are common at celebrations across the country, and while there may be an event near you, you can also immerse yourself in Francophone culture at home by trying a traditional recipe, learning a phrase, or listening to music in French.
June 26: National Canoe Day
Canoes are a part of our national heritage, and in 2007 the CBC solidified the canoe’s status as a Canadian icon. The Canadian Canoe Museum responded by designating June 26 as National Canoe Day. The initiative was established to increase participation in paddlesports across the country and across generations.
While canoes are used in many ways, a recreational paddle solo or with your household is a great way to celebrate National Canoe Day.
Check out our feature news post from 2019 for National Canoe Day, which looked back at the Sir Alexander Mackenzie Bicentennial Canoe Race, one of the premier events in the NWT, in the summer of 1989.
June 27: Canadian Multiculturalism Day
In 2002, the Government of Canada designated June 27 as Canadian Multiculturalism Day to celebrate the diversity of peoples who are part of this country, but also the values of equality and mutual respect. Canadian Multiculturalism Day recognizes the contributions of different cultural groups to our communities and Canada.
While there may not be an event near you, celebrate by taking the opportunity to learn about the diverse cultures that make up our country, and your community.