QUEBEC CITY, June 21, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - "The contribution of Aboriginal peoples to Quebec's vitality and identity is tremendous, and it is essential that we promote all of its aspects through all available means. We must take the opportunity on National Aboriginal Day to express our solidarity with and commitment to preserving and protecting the culture of Aboriginal peoples," Premier Philippe Couillard declared today, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of National Aboriginal Day. The Premier and the Minister responsible for Native Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Kelley, would like to invite all Quebecers to participate in the festivities surrounding this event, and discover the richness of the traditions, customs, songs and music of Aboriginal communities, which are important contributions to the province of Quebec's cultural life.
"For hundreds of years, the culture of First Nations and the Inuit people has greatly contributed to the enrichment of our collective life. National Aboriginal Day is a genuine invitation to share this diversity. This year's anniversary is a great opportunity to maintain the momentum we have achieved, to continue our efforts to work together with Aboriginal peoples on issues of importance to their communities, and to encourage Quebecers to learn more about the richness of Quebec's Aboriginal cultures," stated Minister Kelley.
The Secrétariat aux Affaires autochtones is pleased to support many initiatives to celebrate National Aboriginal Day, and is a proud partner of the celebrations organized by the Chibougamau, Quebec City and Val-d'Or Native Friendship Centres, as well as at the Shaputuan Museum (located in Uashat-Maliotenam), and in the community of Unamen Shipu.
Minister Kelley also wished to point out that the public service will be receiving training today to help them to better understand the unique realities of Aboriginal peoples. This training session is organized by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, in collaboration with the Secrétariat aux Affaires autochtones. This initiative takes place in the wake of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which invited all levels of government to ensure that their employees are adequately informed about the history of Aboriginal peoples and the realities they face. For the occasion, the Red Memory exhibit will be presented in order to share the tragedy that was the Indian Residential Schools program.
About National Aboriginal Day
National Aboriginal Day was proclaimed in 1996 by the federal government. Since then, the first day of summer, June 21, marks a day of celebration for the Aboriginal peoples of Quebec and the rest of Canada. National Aboriginal Day is also a special occasion to celebrate, across the country, the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding accomplishments of Aboriginal peoples.
SOURCE Cabinet du premier ministre
For further information: Source: Harold Fortin, Spokesman for the Premier, Director of Communications, Office of the Premier of Quebec, 418 643-5321; Chantal Gauvin, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister responsible for Native Affairs, 418 643-3166