Happy Aboriginal Day !

Ottawa, Ontario
June 21, 2017
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on National Aboriginal Day:

“Over twenty years ago, the Government of Canada, together with Indigenous organizations, designated this day – the summer solstice – as National Aboriginal Day.

“Every year, we join together on this day to recognize the fundamental contributions that First Nations, Inuit, and the Métis Nation have made to the identity and culture of all Canadians. The history, art, traditions, and cultures of Indigenous Peoples have shaped our past, and continue to shape who we are today.

“No relationship is more important to Canada than the relationship with Indigenous Peoples. Our Government is working together with Indigenous Peoples to build a nation-to-nation, Inuit-Crown, government-to-government relationship – one based on respect, partnership, and recognition of rights.

“We are determined to make a real difference in the lives of Indigenous Peoples – by closing socio-economic gaps, supporting greater self-determination, and establishing opportunities to work together on shared priorities. We are also reviewing all federal laws and policies that concern Indigenous Peoples and making progress on the Calls to Action outlined in the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I wish everyone a happy National Aboriginal Day. I invite all Canadians to take part in the #NADCanada activities in their community and to learn about the history, cultures and traditions of Indigenous Peoples. The 150th anniversary of Confederation this year reminds us of the legacy of the past. As we look forward to the next 150 years, we commit to move ahead together in a spirit of reconciliation and respect.

“This year, I am also pleased to announce that from here forward the Government’s intention is to rename this day National Indigenous Peoples Day.”

I attended the Aboriginal Day Festivities at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society – 1607 E Hastings St. Listened to speakers, watched dancers and enjoyed a free pancake breakfast then participated in the Friendship Walk to Trout Lake up Commercial Street for more speakers, dancers, music and many demonstrations and more food and many vendors. I was able to sit with the Elders at the main stage and was served an ” Indian Taco ” Bannock with sauce. Thank you very much and was also pleased to speak to my ancestors at the Sacred Fire by putting cedar and sage into the fire.

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