Thursday, June 21, 2018
Waterside Theatre/Rain location Africa Picnic Site
Free with admission
The Toronto Zoo (TZ) is celebrating National Indigenous People’s Day (NIPD) and 23 years of strong, vibrant cultures and traditions. The day will be full of Indigenous Music, Art, and Culture. Indigenous Artists, musicians, crafters, and vendors will be coming to the zoo to showcase/sell their work. Due to the cultural importance of turtles in North American indigenous cultures, we have selected National Indigenous People’s Day as the day to release our head started Blanding’s turtles into the Rouge National Urban Park. Blanding’s turtles are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and a provincially and nationally threatened species. Our head starting program, which began reintroducing baby Blanding’s turtles in June 2014, has now reintroduced 154 baby Blanding’s turtles in total into the wild. The Blanding’s turtle is a long-lived species, with a life span of up to 80 years, and has inhabited the Rouge Valley for thousands of years, though prior to 2014 its future was uncertain, with as few as six adult Blanding’s turtles remaining.
Free admission will be provided to Aboriginal peoples with the presentation of a status card, Metis card, or an Inuit Health Branch Client Identification Number (N-Number).
Did you know? The original National Aboriginal Day was first celebrated on June 21, 1996 and was created through a proclamation by then Governor General Romeo LeBlanc. In the spirit of cooperation and reconciliation with indigenous peoples and communities, the Government of Canada chose to rename the day, National Indigenous People’s Day, in 2017. For generations, many Indigenous Peoples and communities have celebrated their culture and heritage on or near this day due to the significance of the summer solstice as the longest day of the year. This day is important to indigenous people and cultures because it celebrates the return of the sun’s warmth and acknowledges how short the summer season is. This is a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.