June is a month with plenty to celebrate about Canada. It’s National Aboriginal History Month, to learn about the peoples that inhabit our region. In Calgary, these are the Treaty 7 signatories: the Siksika, Piikani, and Kainai Nations, the Îethka Stoney Nakoda, consisting of the Chiniki, Bearspaw and Good Stoney Bands, and the Tsuut’ina Nation. Also here are the Métis of Alberta Region 3.

“Voyageurs and Metis on parade float in Dominion Exhibition parade, Calgary, Alberta.”, 1908-06-29 – 1908-07-09, (CU1116691) by Unknown. Courtesy of Glenbow Library and Archives Collection, Libraries and Cultural Resources Digital Collections, University of Calgary.

The first Sunday is Canadian Armed Forces Day. The King’s Own Calgary Regiment and the Calgary Highlanders reserve unit are headquartered at Mewata Armoury, a Gothic Revival design with medieval castellated features built during the Great War. We thank all Forces personnel for their dedication and service.

“Mewata Armouries, Calgary, Alberta.”, [ca. 1940-1945], (CU1216518) by Unknown. Courtesy of Glenbow Library and Archives Collection, Libraries and Cultural Resources Digital Collections, University of Calgary.

Next is Canadian Environment Week, when we’re encouraged to be good stewards of our rich natural heritage. Wednesday is Clean Air Day, by which we enjoy clear, crisp prairie skies complete with mountain peaks on the horizon.

National Indigenous Peoples Day is June 21st. It’s a day to experience an Indigenous celebration, whether a walk at Fort Calgary or a dance at the Aboriginal Friendship Centre.

Then there’s June 24th, the feast day of Saint-Jean Baptiste. Last year, events were held at the National Music Centre and Théâtre de la Cité des Rocheuses, which has promoted dialogue in French in Calgary since 1996. This year is the 125th anniversary of the incorporation of Rouleauville by French Catholics in today’s Mission district.

“French settlers Alec Loiselle and family in front of their house at Sylvan Lake, Alberta.”, 1904, (CU1114322) by Unknown. Courtesy of Glenbow Library and Archives Collection, Libraries and Cultural Resources Digital Collections, University of Calgary.

Speaking of dialogue, June 27th is Canadian Multiculturalism Day, when we celebrate living here together peacefully.

And finally, capping it all off, the day Confederation became reality in law – Canada Day, July 1st. This year marks our 157th anniversary.

“First Nations person on Dominion Day parade, Calgary, Alberta.”, 1908, (CU1107807) by Unknown. Courtesy of Glenbow Library and Archives Collection, Libraries and Cultural Resources Digital Collections, University of Calgary.

Did you know, on 1 July 1867, while church bells rang out and bonfires were lit across the Dominion, newspapers in English and French lamented this union of peoples? They were none too excited about the agreement, each thinking the other would out do them.

Rouleauville Square, with St. Mary’s Cathedral, April 2024. Photo courtesy of Anthony Imbrogno

There’s been much to debate since, but on this day, take time with those you love to celebrate and give thanks for the peace and prosperity of our federation.

Happy Canada Day!

– Anthony Imbrogno is a volunteer with The Calgary Heritage Initiative Society/Heritage Inspires YYC

– All copyright images cannot be shared without prior permission

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