June is a time for reflection, celebration, and action for many communities. In Canada, June is National Indigenous History Month, a celebration of the history of our First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples. Across the United States, June 19th is Juneteenth, a celebration of the emancipation of enslaved people. And around the world, June marks Pride Month, a celebration of the strength and resilience of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. All of these observances are a combination of celebratory joy and renewed calls for action, action that has to extend well beyond a single month.
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15 LGBTQ Books for Kids and Teens Recommended by Queer Librarians, Educators, and Independent Booksellers
It's always a good time of year to read and uplift the stories of 2SLGBTQIA+ people, and we're excited to see so many wonderful books being shared this Pride Month. We're especially keen to share this list of books for kids and teens who deserve to have stories that reflect themselves, their friends, and their families. This is a short list, so if you're looking for more, we suggest stopping by your local library to ask a librarian!
"These books give kids an opportunity to step into an identity, and see opportunities to figure themselves out without having to know everything about themselves to begin with."- Gretchen Treu, co-owner of A Room of One's Own bookstore
This year for Pride Month, it feels like we're staring down a lot of setbacks instead of progress. The 2SLGBTQIA+ community is under attack and sometimes in the face of these challenges, we might miss some of the positive progress that has been made around the world. This article is a great run-down of what has changed since Pride Month last year around the world, from Australia to Vietnam.
"In the year since the last Pride Month, there have been substantial developments for LGBTIQ+ communities all around the world."- International Planned Parenthood Federation
National Indigenous History Month is an opportunity to immerse yourself in some of the amazing film, tv, and podcasts by Canadian Indigenous creators. CBC has a great collection of choices that you can check out for free! We're also always here for a game, and we had a blast trying out Turtle Island Skate Jam, an Indigenous skateboarding-themed video game that includes traditional teachings and was co-developed with Nations Skate Youth.
Many land acknowledgements honour the ways that Indigenous communities have cared for the natural world on Turtle Island in the past. But Indigenous communities are still very much alive and continue to care for their traditional lands, like the Tsuut'ina Nation on Treaty 7 Territory in Alberta. They are just one of the nations leading bison conservation and reintroduction projects in Alberta, bringing back this animal that was almost wiped out over 100 years ago. It hasn't been an easy road, but the projects have been hugely successful, and are a powerful reminder of the continued work that Indigenous leaders are doing to protect the land we share.
“It's fulfilling because our spirituality is so dependent on our connection with the land, the animals. It makes us whole again."-Violet Meguinis, Governance Advisor and Consultation Director, Tsuut'ina Nation
Juneteenth might be the newest federal holiday in the United States but there's nothing new about the celebration, and food has always been a big part of it! Chef Ramin Coles is the executive chef at the Smithsonian Nation Museum of African American History and Culture's Sweet Home Cafe, and he put together a menu that you can make at home to celebrate Juneteenth. The video also includes some really interesting historical information that connects the food to the holiday and the dishes together.
"Explore the symbolism of red foods as a sign of resilience and joy. The color red is highly associated with the cultures that would've come through the later years of the TransAtlantic slave trade, which would have been Yoruba and Kongo. People from [these communities] placed great philosophical and spiritual value in the color red as it symbolizes sacrifice, transition and power."-Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Opal Lee is called the Grandmother of Juneteenth for her life-long work to make Juneteenth a holiday in the United States. Her story is a tale of resilience, conviction, and optimism, and this NPR interview is an opportunity to hear it from her first-hand. Opal Lee, now 96 years old, continues to advocate for civil rights, speaking at a Juneteenth event in her home city of Fort Worth Texas, saying "If people have been taught to hate, they can be taught to love.”
“It's not a Black thing or a Texas thing. Freedom for everybody. We should be celebrating freedom from the nineteenth of June to the Fourth of July."- Opal Lee, the Grandmother of Juneteenth