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Summer Solstice – A Celebration of a Spiritual Way of Life

Press Release

June 20, 2023

It is no coincidence that National Indigenous Heritage Day falls on June 21st, the day of the Summer Solstice. To the First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples in Canada, this day marks the annual spiritual awakening, a new season of life.

What is the Summer Solstice?

To the Anishinaabe peoples, the Summer Solstice is an extremely spiritual day. Being the longest day of the year, the Sun – known as Giizis to the Anishinaabe – is on the closest approach to Mother Earth giving us the longest day of year.

Traditional teachings describe the planets as a family, comprised of Mother Earth, her planetary siblings, Grandmother Moon and Grandfather Sun. The Spirit Trail is a path across the sky, the only path which passes from the earthly realm into the spiritual one. On the Summer Solstice, Giizis is at its peak, dancing high and long in the sky before beginning to reverse the cycle and shortening the days.

How do we Celebrate the Summer Solstice?

There is no one correct way to celebrate the Summer Solstice. Traditional celebrations vary depending on the nation, each with its own history and significance. For the Anishinaabeg peoples, the Summer Solstice is celebrated with Spring Ceremonies which include feasts, sweat lodges, dancing, drumming and story sharing.

Today, celebrating Summer Solstice is just as important as it was at the beginning of time. It is an opportunity for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples to learn, share stories, and take their personal walk on the Spirit Trail, together.



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