Mr. Speaker, you invited members to an official smudging ceremony in the House this morning. This was a wonderful idea, but I am disappointed that 99% of this ceremony was in English and that there was no interpretation.
I have been a member in this House for 35 years, and interpretation has always been available for important events or official ceremonies, or else the ceremony has been conducted in both official languages. There are francophone indigenous communities, like the Abenaki community, that could have participated in this ceremony along with the Algonquin people. This smudging ceremony could have then been in both official languages.
In the future, I hope everyone remembers that there are two official languages here. In this country's history, the indigenous peoples were here first, then francophones were here for 200 years, and after that the anglophones arrived. Clearly, there is every reason to include French in our official ceremonies.