June 21 is the longest day of the year and marks the changing of seasons. It is also a very important day for Aboriginal people (Indian, Métis, Inuit) because for generations, many Aboriginal groups have celebrated their culture and heritage at this time of year. In 1982, this day was chosen to celebrate the land and the Aboriginal people and their culture. It is also a public (statutory) holiday in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Employees must be given a day off with pay. This is a sacred day for employees belonging to Canadian First Nations; employers in other provinces and territories may have to accommodate employees who want to observe this day. Communities hold feasts and invite guests.
On November 13, 2002, the Government of Canada, by Royal Proclamation, designated June 27 of each year as Canadian Multiculturalism Day. This day is not a public holiday but is, in addition to National Aboriginal Day (June 21) and Saint-Jean Baptiste Day (June 24), part of Celebrate Canada, a week-long celebration of events culminating in Canada Day (July 1). Multiculturalism Day is intended to encourage individuals to reflect on our shared commitment to democracy, equality and mutual respect.
All Canadians are encouraged to take part in the events and discover the wealth of Canada’s diversity.
First Reference Human Resources and Compliance Managing Editor