Statement by provincial and territorial premiers regarding the National Day of Action

    QUEEN'S PARK, June 28 /CNW/ - As the National Day of Action approaches on
June 29, we wish to express the support of our governments for the important
goal of raising broad public awareness about the historical place of First
Nations in our country and the rich contribution that they have made and
continue to make to Canadian society.
    This day is an opportunity to strengthen public knowledge and
understanding of First Nations culture, history, traditions and aspirations,
and to rededicate ourselves to the work ahead in forging new and meaningful
relationships. We are mindful of past injustices that have fuelled
disappointment and frustration for too long within Aboriginal communities. At
the same time, it is also a day to pause and reflect on the very real progress
we are now making in addressing long-standing First Nation demands and in
raising the quality of life for First Nations people.
    Premiers from provinces and territories were proud to work with the
leadership of Canada's Aboriginal organizations and the federal government on
the 2005 Kelowna Accord. The Accord provided a comprehensive strategy for
working in partnership with Aboriginal groups to raise the standard of living
in First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities. Provincial and territorial
governments continue to support these measures.
    A major obstacle to enhancing economic opportunity for Aboriginal
Canadians is long-standing land claims issues. We support the federal
government's recent decision to work with First Nations to take action on
specific land claims and to introduce a speedier and more effective land
claims settlement process. As Premiers, we are committed to doing our part to
ensure progress in this important area is realized.
    Together with other Canadians, we respect the right of Canada's First
Nations leadership to organize a National Day of Action. At the same time, we
ask that leaders ensure that all actions are peaceful and law-abiding. A day
that builds bridges between First Nations Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people
and contributes to building trust and mutual respect is the surest route to
making continued progress, together. Our hope is that history records June 29
as a day of promise, one that affirms our shared goal of building a higher
quality of life for First Nations people and a stronger Canada for all.

    Signed by:

    Dalton McGuinty           Jean Charest            Rodney MacDonald
    Premier of Ontario        Premier of Quebec       Premier of Nova Scotia

    Shawn Graham              Gary Doer               Robert Ghiz
    Premier of                Premier of Manitoba     Premier of
    New Brunswick                                     Prince Edward Island

    Lorne Calvert             Ed Stelmach             Danny Williams
    Premier of Saskatchewan   Premier of Alberta      Premier of Newfoundland
                                                      and Labrador

    Joe Handley                                       Dennis Fentie
    Premier of                                        Premier of
    Northwest Territories                             Yukon Territory

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Premier's Media Office, (416) 314-8975

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