The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on National Indigenous Peoples Day:
“Today, on National Indigenous Peoples Day, we celebrate the rich histories, traditions, and cultures of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis from coast to coast to coast. National Indigenous Peoples Day is celebrated on the summer solstice – the longest day of the year – which holds a special significance for Indigenous Peoples who have gathered on this day for centuries to welcome the arrival of warm weather with ceremonies, traditional practices, and displays of art.
“We join Indigenous Peoples today in celebrating their achievements and their resilience. The story of indigeneity in Canada is a story of resilience. When the strongest institutions in the country tried to stamp out Indigenous cultures, languages, and ways of knowing, Indigenous communities persevered. And now, as we work to heal the lasting wounds of the past and move forward together, Indigenous communities are still standing strong: Indigenous youth today are proud of their heritage, and they are reclaiming their cultures and their languages. The Government of Canada will continue to support First Nations, Inuit, and Métis in revitalizing their traditions and languages.
“Together with Indigenous Peoples, we continue to envision and work toward a better future. This includes a Canada where Indigenous children are educated at the same rate as children in the rest of the country, where artifacts that were stolen from Indigenous communities are returned to their rightful owners, where no child is taken from their family because of discrimination and racism, where guidance that was co-developed with Indigenous partners is applied to every natural resource project in the country, and where everyone has access to clean air and clean water. While we have made historic progress in recent years, we know that work is far from over. That is what the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act and its Action Plan, released today, will do. The Action Plan is an evergreen roadmap to achieving this transformative and lasting change in our relationship with Indigenous Peoples in Canada and continue working toward reconciliation.
“June 21 of every year is the day with the most light. And today, on the day with the most light, we look ahead to a bright future – for Indigenous Peoples and for all Canadians. I encourage Canadians to learn more about Indigenous cultures, join the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #NIPD2023, join an Indigenous-led activity within your community, or explore Indigenous art at a local gallery. Let us continue to build a stronger Canada for everyone.”