TORONTO—Ten years have passed since the federal government declared June 21 to be National Aboriginal Day in order to honour and celebrate Canada's Indians, Inuit and Métis. June 21 was chosen because of the cultural significance of the summer solstice, the first day of summer and longest day of the year. Many aboriginal groups mark the date as a time to celebrate their heritage.
On June 23, Centennial College hosted a cultural narrative event where over 30 college faculty and staff gathered and listened to an educational presentation entitled "Yes Is Better Than No" by Dr. Margaret Brigham, the new Dean of Equity at Centennial College. The presentation explored the experiences of First Nations Peoples over the last 100 years and some members of the audience were in tears as they shared what they learned from the event.
An Ojibway native from Walpole Island First Nation in Ontario, Dr. Brigham is a former professor, classroom teacher, First Nation school principal, and college administrator. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Arizona in Higher Education Administration and American Indian Policy Studies.