Statement by Ministers Marc Miller, Patty Hajdu, Dan Vandal and Pablo Rodríguez on National Indigenous History Month

Ottawa, Ontario (June 1, 2023) — The Honorable Marc Miller, Crown Minister for Indigenous Relations; the Honorable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services; The Hon. Dan Vandal, Minister for Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for PrairiesCan and CanNor; and the Honorable Pablo Rodríguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage, issued the following statement today:

“June is National Indigenous History Month, which is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the resilience, cultures and contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis across Canada.

Indigenous stories are important to indigenous pride and cultures, and are central to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis identities. The knowledge passed down by the Elders and Knowledge Keepers connects families, communities and generations. These histories and cultures have protected indigenous identities against hundreds of years of colonial policies and have played a key role in Canadian history and society. Each week in June will be dedicated to a different theme to highlight specific aspects of indigenous histories, cultures and experiences, including traditional knowledge, language and reconciliation. June 21 is National Indigenous Peoples Day, which also marks the summer solstice, the longest day of the year and a culturally significant day for many indigenous communities in Canada.

While this is a time to celebrate, we also reflect on how Canada’s historical mistakes have impacted its current relationship with Indigenous Peoples and the ongoing work to promote reconciliation. Our colonial past and the harmful policies that were implemented are the direct cause of many systemic problems that Indigenous Peoples face today.

As communities across Canada continue to uncover the horrifying truths of former residential schools, we are reminded that indigenous people have shared these stories for 150 years only to be ignored. And yet, as we move forward, there is a sense of optimism and hope for generations to come, because Canada is working hand in hand with First Nations, Inuit and Métis partners to advance their priorities and renew these relations. Together we are building a more united and reconciled country.

We remain steadfast in our commitment to work alongside residential school survivors and families, collaborating with Aboriginal communities, Aboriginal governments, and federal, provincial, and territorial governments, as well as with major local, regional, and regional Aboriginal organizations. national and grassroots across Canada. to build prosperity, promote self-determination and support the well-being of Indigenous Peoples and communities. furthermore, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (the Act), which received Royal Assent in June 2021, will continue to guide all of our joint development work with First Nations partners.

There is still much more to do, and it requires effort across Canada, in all walks of life. All levels of government, the private sector and civil society have a shared responsibility to take action and work in partnership with Indigenous Peoples towards lasting systemic change. This starts with learning and understanding our shared history.

This month, we encourage all Canadians to learn more about indigenous knowledge and the unique histories, cultures and experiences of First Nations, Inuit and Métis across Canada, and how we are working together to build a stronger country. For more information on how to participate and access learning resources, visit the National Indian History Month website.”

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