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Bell recognizes National Indigenous Peoples Day

Posted June 15, 2020 in Community & Events, English, Inside Bell by 0

National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21 is an opportunity for all Canadians to learn about Indigenous history and celebrate the diverse cultures and achievements of Indigenous peoples across the country. To celebrate, four Bell team members share what the day means to them, their traditions, experiences and more.


Brenda, a Project Manager in our Field Operations team, is Métis and is a descendant of John Bruce, the first president of the Métis provisional government at the Red River Colony in Manitoba. She is proud to represent her community and was recently featured in Bell’s Inclusion video where she shares her experiences.

What do you want people to know about Indigenous culture?

It’s important for people to understand the variety of cultures within our larger Indigenous communities. We pass on traditions so we don’t lose sight of who we are and how we came to be. History is taught so we can appreciate where we came from and how it formed the way we live today.

How would you suggest non-Indigenous folks get involved/educate themselves throughout the year?

Every group is proud to share their culture. I recommend taking a look at the Manitoba Métis Federation website to learn more and Pemmican Publications, a not-for-profit publisher and an affiliate of the Manitoba Métis Federation, with a mandate to promote Metis authors, illustrators and stories.

How do you celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day?

I love to participate in local events or pick up a book about Indigenous history or about the progress Canada has made in recognizing Indigenous communities. Music is important—at any gathering there is always music and dancing.


Christina has worked at Bell for more than 30 years and is a valued member of the Process and Project Delivery, Customer Experience team. Christina is Ojibway, a member of the Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek (Sand Point First Nation) and is proud to share her traditions and experiences with us.

Can you share an Indigenous tradition or custom that is important to you?

Traditions for our clans were muted. Through unjust rules, my ancestors lost a lot of their traditions. What wasn’t lost was the time to gather. Gathering together has always been an important custom for celebrations such as weddings, a successful hunting trip, a birth, a celebration of life, and for many groups, a Pow Wow. A Pow Wow includes dancing and sharing special foods, such as bannock and moose stew.

Food is often a great way to be immersed in a new culture. Do you have a favourite Indigenous recipe you’d like to share?

I feel very proud to share our traditional foods that our elders remember with the younger members of our community. We hunt moose on the traditional lands near and around Lake Nipigon and share it with family and friends.

I also love baking – Bannock is a main staple of many Indigenous communities in Canada. It’s a simple bread that can be cooked in a pan, in the oven or in oil on an open fire. Below is our family’s traditional Bannock recipe:


  • 5 cups flour
  • 4 tbsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • Water as needed


  • Mix dry ingredients together before adding in butter.
  • Add water until dough is no longer dry, just holds together. 
  • Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or until golden brown on middle rack.
  • To make a different variety add you can add 1 tbsp. sugar with dry ingredients and fold in a ½ cup of fresh blueberries in at the end.


Luke is a Control Centre Support Clerk on Bell’s Network team and a First Nations, Status Cree Indian and a member of the Fisher River Cree Nation. He is of Cree and Scottish descent and is proud to celebrate both his cultures. Luke is pictured wearing his traditional ribbon shirt.

What do you want people to know about Indigenous history in Canada?

It is important to build an understanding of our history and the strength and resilience of Indigenous peoples. I don’t think many of us understand what happened to the Indigenous peoples during the residential school years. My grandmother was a part of this and I only learned prior to her passing how it had impacted her. It is a difficult subject and it still haunts many Indigenous people.

How do you celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day?

I look forward to the gathering of all Canadians to celebrate across the country. The dancing and drums are truly magical. Playing drums and dancing is ceremonial and marks various celebrations – this being the beginning of summer.

I had the honour of celebrating the arrival of the Cree Bundle for the National Cree gathering in my home community – Fisher River. I have also participated in a “sweat” with my Chief and other elders from Manitoba, which was very special.


Lisa is a Senior Manager on our Human Resources team supporting the Bell Technical Solutions business unit. She is Métis, as well as a strong advocate for all diversity and inclusion initiatives here at Bell.

What is the significance of National Indigenous Peoples Day to you?

National Indigenous Peoples Day is an opportunity for everyone, regardless of their background, to recognize and celebrate Indigenous people and create cultural awareness.

How would you suggest non-Indigenous folks get involved/educate themselves throughout the year?

It is great for everyone to take some time to learn more and appreciate the culture and history of Indigenous peoples – you can reach out to community and online Indigenous partners, which helps facilitate a wider culture of inclusion.

This year at Bell, we are recognizing Indigenous History Month as well as National Indigenous Peoples Day with virtual activities throughout the month. These include a private screening of the award winning film Kuessipan, a featured webinar, sharing cultural awareness guides and more.

To learn more about Bell’s commitment to fostering an inclusive workplace, read our Corporate Social Responsibility report.

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