OTTAWA, June 21, 2018 /CNW/ – The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, and the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services issued the following joint statement today:
“For more than two decades, June 21 has been a day for all Canadians to celebrate and highlight the unique heritage, diverse cultures and immeasurable contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in the development and shaping of this great country.
Today marks the first National Indigenous Peoples Day. The path behind us has been marked by many generations of social and political structures that neglected and discriminated against Indigenous peoples. Yet, First Nations, Inuit and Métis persevered, demonstrating the resilience and dignity of first peoples in Canada. The way forward includes ensuring that Indigenous peoples have the opportunities, space, and respect they deserve, in order to heal spirits, revitalize cultures, and exercise rights.
The Government of Canada is steadfast in its commitment to work with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples to achieve these goals. This past year has seen the creation of our two new departments, which aligns with recommendations made twenty years ago by the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, calling for one department to focus on delivering services, and another focused on building and maintaining the Crown-Indigenous relationship. We look forward to the day when Indigenous Services and programs will be determined by Indigenous-led institutions and governments. We’re proud of the great strides that have been made and also recognize that much work lies ahead. This is an exciting time – full of challenges and also full of promise.
Moving forward on this important journey, we invite each and every one of you to take time to participate in one of the many celebrations organized across the country; and, to ask yourself how you as an individual, family and community member can contribute to the journey of reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in this country.
We wish you a happy National Indigenous Peoples Day.”