Today, I am pleased to be the voice of Édith Cloutier, director of the Val-d'Or Native Friendship Centre. Whether we are talking about Abitibi, Harricana, Kinojévis, Témiscamingue, Nottaway, Kipawa, Chicobi, the Collines Kékéko or the community of Obaska, the Anishinabe heritage is a source of pride for everyone. As it does every year, the Val-d'Or Native Friendship Centre celebrates National Indigenous Peoples Day.
The Friendship Centre is part of a vast indigenous movement in the cities. In Quebec, the movement is celebrating 50 years of friendship. There are 13 centres at the heart of a social transformation and of a bridge between peoples that open the door to the discovery of a cultural richness that is both so close and largely unknown.
Friendship centres have thousands of members of the first peoples who contribute to Canada's cities and invite people to share their knowledge and traditions. Friendship centres are motivated by the desire to bring people together around a social, cultural and community ideal, are encouraged by the quality of the ties forged and are determined to build a more just, inclusive and egalitarian society for all.
I wish everyone a happy National Aboriginal Day on June 21.