OTTAWA, ONTARIO (June 1, 2017) – The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, issued the following statement today:
“The month of June presents many opportunities for all Canadians to learn about the unique culture, heritage and contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. This month is a time to raise awareness and celebrate the richness of Indigenous cultures in the spirit of reconciliation by participating in National Aboriginal History Month, Indigenous Book Club Month and, on June 21, National Aboriginal Day.
National Aboriginal History Month started in 2009 with the passing of a unanimous motion in the House of Commons. It has since provided Canadians with an opportunity to recognize not only the historic contributions of Aboriginal peoples to the development of Canada, but also the strength of present-day Indigenous communities and their promise for the future.
This June also marks Indigenous Book Club Month. Since its creation #IndigenousReads has promoted a greater sense of understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples by sharing stories, histories and cultures. I encourage all Canadians to participate by adding a book by an Indigenous author to your summer reading list.
On June 21, we celebrate National Aboriginal Day. From sunrise ceremonies to concerts and community feasts First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities invite our families and friends to celebrate and share their rich and vibrant culture with Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
By participating in Indigenous History Month, Indigenous Book Club month and National Aboriginal Day we celebrate the resilience and pride of Indigenous peoples and their cultures. As Canadians, we need to move forward together on the journey of reconciliation so that the next 150 years will be based upon a new relationship based upon the recognition of indigenous rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.”