OTTAWA, June 2, 2016 /CNW/ - Today, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, made the following statement:
"Today marks the anniversary of an historic event for all Canadians. In June 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its 94 Calls to Action, aimed at redressing the legacy of residential schools and advancing the process of reconciliation in Canada.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission's Final Report is a monumental achievement, and has laid a foundation on which all Canadians can build to advance the journey of reconciliation. This work is testament to the courage former students and their families showed in sharing their stories about the Indian Residential School system, a dark and tragic chapter in this country's history.
Senator Murray Sinclair is indeed correct, when he said that, "progress needs to be constant." Our government is committed to working in full partnership with Indigenous peoples to build a national framework to further ongoing reconciliation.
Since coming into office, we have launched an inquiry into the unacceptable rates of missing and murdered Indigenous women, become an unqualified supporter of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and we are working to fully implement Jordan's Principle.
Budget 2016 makes historic investments to begin to close the gap in quality of life for Indigenous people. These investments will better support the wellbeing of children and families on-reserve; to improve the quality of education for First Nations children; and to urgently address housing needs on reserve.
Reconciliation has to be about all Canadians. From coast to coast to coast, Canadians are embarking on the journey of reconciliation and developing responses to the Calls to Action. From teachers and students, to municipalities, provinces and territories, Canadians are taking leadership to support reconciliation.
June is National Aboriginal History Month, and on June 21st we celebrate the 20th anniversary of National Aboriginal Day. As part of these celebrations, I'm hoping all Canadians will join me in also making the month of June Indigenous Book Club month. Let us use the momentum and energy from this year's celebration to continue to learn more about the unique culture, heritage, and the past and present contributions of Indigenous peoples to Canada. I believe that together, as we move forward into Canada's next 150 years, our shared efforts will make a better, stronger Canada."
This statement is also available on the Internet at www.aandc.gc.ca.
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SOURCE Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
For further information: Sabrina Williams, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, 819-997-0002; Media Relations, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-953-1160