Statement - It's time to celebrate and support Indigenous peoples in Canada

June 19, 2020 - Ottawa, Ontario - Canadian Human Rights Commission

In celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day and Indigenous History Month, Marie-Claude Landry, Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, releases the following statement:

Each year, we come together on National Indigenous Peoples Day to honour the heritage, cultures, experiences and achievements of Indigenous peoples throughout Canada.

It is a day to celebrate, to reflect on the past, and to look forward to the future. It is a day to stand together with First Nations, Inuit and Métis people across the country. We are so much richer and more connected when we embrace Indigenous history, languages, cultures, and perspectives. We must not forget that the achievements and contributions of Indigenous people have helped shape the Canada we know today.

This day also challenges us to think about what role each of us can play in advancing reconciliation. We must first acknowledge the colonial legacy and systemic anti-Indigenous racism that is prevalent in our society. We must eliminate pervasive barriers and discrimination still faced by Indigenous peoples. We must ensure that Indigenous women and girls in Canada can live free from violence. To create a truly inclusive Canada, we all have a responsibility to push for meaningful change.

We must all reflect on how we can build trust, respect, and understanding with each other. How we can truly recognize and respect the inherent rights of Indigenous peoples. How we can stand up to racism in our communities. And how we can learn from First Nations, Inuit and Métis perspectives. We need each other in order to build a better country. Reconciliation is going to take all of us.

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