A Statement from the Ontario Government
Posted June 21st, 2016 on Niagara At Large
Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario, and David Zimmer, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, released the following statement today:
“The 20th anniversary of National Aboriginal Day comes at a hopeful time — a time of renewal in the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. On May 30, our government took an important step by apologizing in the Legislature for the brutalities committed for generations at residential schools and the continued intergenerational trauma this has caused.
We also released an action plan — developed working closely with Indigenous partners — that will help Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples journey together on a path of reconciliation.
The apology and the action plan are demonstrations of our government’s commitment to build relationships with Indigenous peoples based on mutual trust and respect. They reflect our acknowledgement that we cannot change the future without understanding and honouring the past.
The 26 initiatives outlined in the plan will help teach a new generation the truth about our shared history, help close the outcome gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples and help all of us build a society where we can walk together as equals, living in peace and harmony on the land we now share.
Today, Ontario joins people all across Canada in proudly honouring the historic and ongoing contributions of Indigenous people. We hope that everyone takes the opportunity to enjoy the celebrations of National Aboriginal Day across the province, through music, dance, stories, food and more. Miigwetch. Niá:wen. Marsé.
NAL is also posting the following statement from Canada’s Prime Minister
June 21, 2016, Ottawa, Ontario
The Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today issued the following statement on National Aboriginal Day:
“Today, on National Aboriginal Day, let us take the time to celebrate and honour the unique heritage and outstanding achievements of the Indigenous peoples in Canada.
“National Aboriginal Day is first and foremost an occasion to celebrate the fundamental role First Nations, Métis, and Inuit have played – and continue to play – in shaping the identity of all Canadians. Coast to coast to coast, their remarkable art and cultures, significant contributions and history, are essential to our sense of nationhood.
“Events over the past few months – including the loss of life to suicide and the feelings of despair felt in some communities – remind us that we must work in genuine partnership with Indigenous peoples, the provinces, and the territories to better support the well-being of children and families, improve the quality of education for Indigenous students, and ensure health services meet the needs of Indigenous communities.
“No relationship is more important to our government and to Canada than the one with Indigenous peoples. Today, we reaffirm our government’s commitment to a renewed nation-to-nation relationship between Canada and Indigenous peoples, one based on the recognition of rights, respect, trust, co-operation, and partnership.
“We understand the importance of reconciliation and the process of truth-telling and healing in this renewal. With this is mind, we will continue the vital work of reconciliation as outlined in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, in partnership with First Nations, the Métis Nation, the Inuit, the provinces, and the territories. This work will build on our commitment last month to fully adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
“Together, we will think seven generations out – as the Iroquois have taught – as we listen to Indigenous voices on environmental matters, build necessary roads, bridges, and water and wastewater infrastructure, and ensure a better and brighter future for Indigenous peoples in Canada.
“I invite you to join the #IndigenousReads campaign to help raise awareness and understanding through shared culture and stories and encourage steps toward reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.”
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