OTTAWA, June 20, 2014 /CNW/ - In honour of National Aboriginal Day and
National Aboriginal Awareness Month, the Assembly of First Nations
(AFN) National Executive Committee encourages all Canadians to take
every opportunity to learn about Indigenous peoples, cultures and
rights and to participate in events and celebrations this weekend, and
to commit to a renewed relationship based on mutual respect, mutual
recognition and the spirit and intent of the Treaties.
"National Aboriginal Day is an ideal opportunity to celebrate the
cultures and traditions of Indigenous peoples in this country, learn
more about their contributions, their rights and responsibilities and
our shared history as a country," said AFN spokesperson and Regional
Chief for Quebec/Labrador Ghislain Picard. "It is time for First
Nations and all Canadians to commit to a new understanding and a new
relationship grounded in our history and focused on the future. From
this, we can work together to build a strong foundation to achieve
positive change for all of us."
National Aboriginal Day was brought about in part by efforts and
advocacy of the Assembly of First Nations beginning with a resolution
in 1982 calling for a national holiday celebrating the contributions of
Indigenous peoples in Canada to be celebrated annually on June 21. In
December 2013, AFN Chiefs-in-Assembly passed a resolution calling for
the Government of Canada to declare June 21 a National Holiday known as
Indigenous Peoples Day.
"It is increasingly evident that First Nations are integral to Canada's
history, prosperity and progress," said Regional Chief Picard. "We are
the youngest and fastest growing population in the country and our
people are asserting their rights, title and the Treaties to revitalize
their languages and cultures and to build stronger First Nations
citizens, communities and governments. We must support these efforts
because strong First Nations make a stronger country for all of us.
National Aboriginal Day is a time to share with one another, learn from
one another, celebrate together and commit to a new era of respect,
recognition and reconciliation."
The term "Aboriginal" refers to the three distinct Indigenous peoples in
Canada: First Nations, Métis and Inuit. In connection with the summer
solstice, special events and gatherings take place across the country
celebrating First Nation, Métis and Inuit contributions and
accomplishments, cultures, traditions and languages.
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing
First Nations citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Comms,
SOURCE: Assembly of First Nations
For further information:
Jenna Young AFN Communications Officer 613-241-6789, ext 401; 613-314-8157 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Alain Garon AFN Bilingual Communications Officer 613-241-6789, ext 382; 613-292-0857 or email@example.com