Mr. Speaker, today is the 21st annual National Aboriginal Day, which next year will be called “National Indigenous Peoples Day”. It is an opportunity to honour the rich traditions, heritage, and diverse cultures of the Inuit, Métis, and first nations peoples in Canada.
Growing every year, celebrations will be held across Canada. For many, including in Ottawa, it started with a sunrise ceremony on this summer solstice. As the sun came up, there was a smudging ceremony, prayers, and then an opportunity to enjoy the dancing, drumming, and singing. It was a very special start to the day.
I encourage all Canadians to participate in the celebrations today and to learn more about the immense contributions of indigenous peoples to Canada.
In 1910, the chiefs from the B.C. Interior wrote then Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier. In their words, they stated, “What is ours will be theirs, and what is theirs will be ours. We will help each other to be great and good.“
May we all inspire to reach their vision for Canada as we move forward together.