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How climbers should observe Indigenous Peoples’ Day

First celebrated in 1996, the day, which falls on the summer solstice, is meant to recognize and honour First Nations, Inuit and Métis cultures

We enjoy climbing on the traditional, and in some places, unceded lands of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, but often we show little curiosity about their culture and history or the colonialism that has led to the need for justice and reconciliation.

National Indigenous Peoples Day, celebrated on June 21, invites us to deepen our knowledge and to reflect on our place in the ongoing quest for reconciliation.

Climbing also occurs in a landscape often touched by colonialism and injustice. Many climbing areas and mountains have lost their Indigenous names. We can take the opportunity to learn the original names and histories. We can find out about and celebrate the work of climbers like Cassie Youngman, Erynne Gilpin, who work with their communities and network for greater justice and awareness.

Some of Canada’s most important climbing areas, like Banff and Squamish have cultural and educational events planned. Events are planned throughout Canada, and you can see if there’s one near you.