How to make a difference this National Indigenous Peoples Day

(NC) June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day, a time when Canadians celebrate the history and culture of Indigenous communities while reflecting on how best to support them. Being an ally involves a commitment to understanding, respecting and supporting the rights, culture and self-determination of Indigenous Peoples. Here are five ways to effectively act as an ally on June 21 and beyond:

Educate yourself: Take the time to learn about the histories, cultures and current issues facing Indigenous Peoples. Read books and articles and seek Indigenous perspectives to gain a deeper understanding of their experiences.

Challenge stereotypes and misconceptions: Refute myths and challenge harmful stereotypes about Indigenous Peoples. Be mindful of language and use respectful and accurate terminology when referring to Indigenous communities.

Engage in meaningful dialogue: Foster open and respectful conversations about issues affecting Indigenous Peoples. Be willing to listen, learn and engage in allyship efforts collaboratively.

Respect cultural practices and traditions: Seek permission before participating in or sharing Indigenous ceremonies, artwork or knowledge and honour Indigenous protocols and customs.

Take action against injustice: Stand up against systemic injustice and discrimination by being an advocate for policy changes, participating in calls to action to amplify Indigenous voices and holding institutions accountable for their actions.

Indigenous communities have endured longstanding discrimination and hardships, ultimately leading to health disparities. Through open dialogue with communities and organizations, Gilead Sciences Canada worked in partnership with CAAN Communities, Alliances & Networks to develop a program that closes the gap in health-care access and shines a light on how best to support Indigenous Peoples in Canada. The program was launched to support Indigenous communities in gaining access to health services, keeping allyship at the centre of its approach. Learn more about this initiative at

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