Main Container

Prime Minister Crest

Statement by the Prime Minister on National Indigenous History Month

Main Content

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on National Indigenous History Month:

“Today, as we mark the first day of National Indigenous History Month, we celebrate the cultures, languages, knowledge, histories, and traditions of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis. Indigenous Peoples have been the stewards and caretakers of Canada’s lands and waters since time immemorial, and their profound teachings and contributions have helped shape the Canada we know today.

“This is a time to commemorate and celebrate, but to also acknowledge the ongoing legacy of colonialism. The painful truths of displacement, forced assimilation, and other injustices perpetrated against First Nations, Inuit, and Métis in Canada continue to affect Indigenous Peoples today. The Government of Canada is committed to confronting this difficult legacy and walking forward on the path of reconciliation, including through our work to deliver on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action and respond to the Calls for Justice from the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

“An important step along this path came earlier this spring, when An Act to provide for the establishment of a national council for reconciliation received Royal Assent, addressing Call to Action 53. Once established, the Council will have a mandate that includes an important role in monitoring, evaluating, and reporting on efforts to advance reconciliation and the implementation of the Calls to Action. Reconciliation is a fundamental journey we must undertake together to support healing and right past wrongs.

“We are implementing the five-year Action Plan to turn the objectives of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act into a reality. The plan, developed in consultation and co-operation with Indigenous partners, is a roadmap for the work toward increased self-determination and rights recognition for Indigenous Peoples in Canada. The federal government and Indigenous partners are working to foster strong, healthy, and prosperous Indigenous communities for generations to come.

“The federal government is also advancing our work with partners to create a safer and fairer society for Indigenous Peoples in Canada. As part of these efforts, we are working with partners to pilot a ‘Red Dress Alert’ – a system to notify the public when an Indigenous woman, girl, Two-Spirit, or gender-diverse person goes missing. Through new measures proposed in Budget 2024, we are providing new funding to support Indigenous-led efforts to reclaim, revitalize, and strengthen Indigenous cultures and languages. We are also permanently supporting the Indigenous Screen Office so Indigenous Peoples can continue to tell their stories. This is in addition to our important work to create jobs, develop resources, and unlock economic opportunities for Indigenous Peoples through the Indigenous Loan Guarantee Program. This work is essential to building renewed relationships with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis based on the recognition of rights, respect, and nation-to-nation partnership. Together, we will continue to make progress toward this goal.

“Throughout this month, as we celebrate the cultures and achievements of Indigenous Peoples in Canada I invite all Canadians to learn more about First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples and to reflect on our collective responsibility to build a better and more inclusive future.”