Statement by Minister Carolyn Bennett and Parliamentary Secretary and Member of Parliament for Labrador, Yvonne Jones, on International Inuit Day

OTTAWA, Nov. 7, 2016 /CNW/ - The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, and Parliamentary Secretary and Member of Parliament for Labrador, Yvonne Jones, issued the following statement today on the occasion of International Inuit Day:

"Today, International Inuit Day, was declared ten years ago at the 2006 Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC) general assembly, and is an important occasion to celebrate the rich history and culture of the Inuit and their contributions to Canada and abroad.

As we look towards the future and further our journey of of reconciliation, the Government of Canada is committed to a renewed Inuit-Crown relationship based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership. Over this past year we have listened carefully. We have heard clearly about the need for Inuit to protect their distinct cultural identity and improve socio-economic conditions of their people.

We are committed to working together on subjects that Inuit have said matter most to them including suicide prevention, housing, addressing food insecurity, climate change and adaptation while strengthening the Inuit/Crown Relationship along the way. For example, the Igloo Tag trademark, which helps to protect Inuit artists and combat the trade in counterfeit pieces, is in the midst of being transferred from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, to the Inuit Art Foundation. This will ensure that Inuit take full control of this important tool.

The Government of Canada is also working hard to ensure Inuit and Northerners' voices both shape policies and programs in the sustainable development and conservation of the Arctic and are clearly heard in our international outreach to the United States and circumpolar countries around the world.

As we celebrate Canada's 150th year of confederacy next year, let's all take this opportunity to learn more about Inuit culture, history and contributions to Canada by either visiting Canada's north, getting to know Inuit communities where we live, or picking up a book by an Inuit author. Reconciliation has to be about all Canadians. We all play a part in ensuring Canada's next 150 years leave a better legacy for future generations.

Happy International Inuit Day!"

This statement is also available on the Internet at www.aandc.gc.ca.

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SOURCE Government of Canada

For further information: media may contact: Sabrina Williams, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, 613-697-8316; INAC Media Relations, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-953-1160


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