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On this page you will find a wealth of resources that highlight crucial Awareness Months throughout the year. With a goal of providing meaningful integration of relevant learning and discussion on a regular basis, within the NBS community and beyond, this page will continue to expand as the year continues.

Directly below you will find resources for the most current Awareness Month, and below that you can find an overview of what is to come, as well as an archive of previously shared resources. 
 

JUNE - Indigenous History Month AND 2SLGBTQI+​ PRIDE Month


Indigenous History Month

Although dance has the power to connect us all, it is important that we also acknowledge our history in Canada, which includes government-imposed regulations and restrictions targeting the cultural expression of Indigenous peoples, including dance.

Through the Indian Act and residential schools, Indigenous peoples were legally deprived of their music and dance. And, despite brave attempts to keep tradition alive, many cultural expressions were lost forever. It is important to reflect on these egregious acts of cultural genocide, which reach well before and extend beyond the duration of the Indian Act and residential schools.

Below you will find a selection of resources and tools for reflection, education, reminder, and action. 

Selected Books
  • The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America - Thomas King 
  • Birdie - Tracey Lindberg

  • From the Ashes - Jesse Thistle

  • Heart Berries - Terese Marie Mailhot

  • A History of My Brief Body - Billy-Ray Belcourt

  • The Marrow Thieves - Cherie Dimaline

  • Noopiming: The Cure for White Ladies - Leanne Betasamosake Simpson 

  • Jonny Appleseed - Joshua Whitehead

  • A Stranger at Home - Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton

  • Residential Schools, With the Words and Images of Survivors, A National History - Larry Loyie, Wayne K. Spear, Constance Brissenden

  • Secret Falls - Gord Downie

  • Sugar Falls: A Residential School Story - David Alexander Robertson

  • A Knock on the Door - National Center for Truth and Reconciliation

  • Calling Down the Sky - Rosanna Deerchild

  • They Called Me Number One - Bev Sellars

  • Unsettling the Settler Within - Paulette Regan

  • Tilly and the Crazy Eights - by Monique Gray Smith

Selected Films & Videos

  • Holy Angels - Jay Cardinal Villeneuve

  • Indian Horse - Stephen Campanelli

  • Kakalakkuvik (Where the Children Dwell) - Jobie Weetaluktuk

  • Muffins for Granny - Nadia McLaren

  • The Witness Blanket - Cody Graham & Carey Newman

  • We Were Children - Tim Wolochatiuk

  • Where are the Children: Residential School Survivor Stories - Legacy of Hope Foundation

Selected Online Resources

Resources for Indigenous Dance in Canada:
Native Dance
Music & Dance - Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada
Red Sky Performance Red Talks
Do You Know What A Powwow Is? - CBC Kids
Powwow Dances - The Canadian Encyclopedia
 
Selected Informative Social Accounts:
@theballantyneproject
@truenorthaid
@oncanadaproject
 
Get Involved:
Project ENUF (Empowering Nations United in Friendship)
On Canada Project - Settlers Take Action
On Canada Project - Get Involved
Indian Residential School Survivors Society
(FREE) Indigenous Canada History Course (University of Alberta) 


2SLGBTQI+​ PRIDE

2SLGBTQI+ is an abbreviation that stands for: Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, and Intersex. The plus-sign signifies a number of other identities and is included to keep the abbreviation brief when written out.

 
2SLGBTQI+​ Pride Month is celebrated each year in the month of June to commemorate the Stonewall riots in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York.  The Stonewall riots were a series of demonstrations by members of the gay (LGBT) community in response to a police raid at the Stonewall Inn in June 1969.  Patrons of the Stonewall, and other Village lesbian and gay bars, fought back when police became violent.  The riots are considered one of the most important events leading to the gay liberation movement and the fight for LGBT rights.

Articles

Videos Dance  Online Resources  

Past Resources 

During the month of January we will be bring awareness to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a foundation for Awareness Months to come. The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights “proclaims the inalienable rights which everyone is entitled to as a human being - regardless of race, colour, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status” (United Nations). We encourage the NBS Community to use these resources to understand where and how you can take action to defend and support human rights in our own communities and worldwide.

UN Resources:  Videos: Web links: Educational Resources: Take Action:

February was first recognized, by the Ontario Government, as Black History Month in 1993. In 1995 it became federally recognized. This month is officially Black History Month but we emphasize that Black History is a part of every month! This is not an exhaustive list and we acknowledge that there is not one unanimous Black experience within Canada nor in any other parts of the world. We encourage you to enjoy and explore these beautiful works by Black authors, artists, filmmakers, historians and so many more. 

Upcoming virtual events to celebrate Black History Month: Articles: Books:
These books and many on the NBS Anti-Racism resource page, can be found at A Different Booklist:
  • Policing Black Lives by Robyn Maynard 
  • The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power by Desmond Cole
  • Until We Are Free: Reflections on Black Lives Matter in Canada by Rodney Diverlus, Sandy Hudson and Syrus Marcus Ware 
  • The Hanging of Angelique: The Untold Story of Canadian Slavery and the Burning of Old Montreal by Afua Cooper 
  • Night's Dancer: The Life of Janet Collins by Janet Collins and Yaël Tamar Lewin
Films and Videos Online Resources: Take Action:
Black Lives Matter – Canada
Urban Alliance on Race Relations 
BlackNorth Initiative 

Click this link to Shop Black Owned Businesses in Toronto!

March is Women’s History Month, the celebration began as part of protest movements in North America and Europe related to women’s suffrage (the right to vote). In 1975, the United Nations General Assembly declared March 8 International Women’s Day "to recognize that securing peace, social progress, the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms requires the active participation, equality, and development of women; and to acknowledge the contribution of women to the strengthening of international peace and security." From there Women’s History Month was established in different parts of the world. 

As we shift from Black History Month to Women’s History Month a reminder that identities are multi-faceted and not monolithic. Check out this TedTalk from Kimberlé Crenshaw about the concept of intersectionality and its importance. (Trigger Warning: video footage of police violence against women in last 3 minutes)

Articles:

Films and Videos:

Online Educational Resources:

Take Action:

 In celebration of International Transgender Day of Visibility - March 31

Founded in 2009 by activist Rachel Crandall, March 31 is dedicated to celebrating and raising awareness of the discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide. Crandall was inspired to establish this day as a means to celebrate the resilience and accomplishments of transgender people, in addition to the Trans Day of Remembrance (November 20).   

Disclosure (Official Trailer) - from executive producer Laverne Cox and director Sam Feder comes a documentary that chronicles over 100 years of trans representation on screen.

“The month of April is dedicated to bringing awareness to Parkinson’s disease while supporting organizations within the community that are committed to improving the lives of those impacted by this brain disorder. It is a complex brain disease that can impact adults of all ages with varying symptoms,” explains Parkinson Canada in a press release.
 
Canada’s National Ballet School is proud to support those in our community living with Parkinson’s disease (PD), with our Sharing Dance Parkinson’s program! Numerous studies indicate that dance is uniquely beneficial for people living with PD, improving gait, posture, and balance (Shanahan et al., 2015). Beyond physical benefits, dance encourages social inclusion and personal and artistic expression. If you or someone you know is living with PD, we encourage you to join us for one of our upcoming Sharing Dance Parkinson’s classes by registering here!
 
Articles: Videos:  Online Resources: Take Action/Get Involved: 

May is Asian Heritage Month, where we celebrate the achievements of citizens of Asian descent across Canada. May was originally recognized as the month to commemorate Asian History in the United States, due to the first Japanese immigrants arriving in America in May of 1843, as well as the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in May of 1869, in which the majority of workers were of Chinese origin. While Asian Heritage Month in the United States has been celebrated since 1979, it was not until 2002 that Canada officially recognized May as Asian Heritage month, when Senator Vivienne Poy (the first member of the Senate to have Asian Ancestry) put forward a motion to recognize and commemorate achievements by those of Asian descent in Canada. 

Upcoming Online Events Articles  Videos Online Resources Take Action/Get Involved 

Calendar 

January

Universal Human Rights Month
Jan 27: International Holocaust Remembrance Day

February

Black History Month
Feb 15: Family Day
Feb 24: Pink shirt day (anti-bullying)

March

Women’s History Month
Mar 31: Transgender Day of Visibility

April

Parkinson’s Awareness Month
Apr 2: World Autism Awareness Day
Apr 22: Earth day

May

Asian Heritage Month

June

Indigenous History Month; Pride (LGBTQ2+) Month

September

Mental Health Awareness Month
Sept 30: Orange Shirt Day

October

Disabilities Awareness Month
Oct 1: National Seniors Day

November

Anti-Bullying Awareness Month and Indigenous Education Month
Nov 2 - 9: Holocaust Education Week
Nov 2 - 6: Treaty Recognition Week
Nov 7: Inuit Day
Nov 8: Aboriginal Veterans Day
Nov 11: Remembrance Day
Nov 15 - 21: Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week

More Resources