OTTAWA, June 21, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, issued the following statement today on the occasion of National Aboriginal Day:
"Today, we celebrate the contributions of Aboriginal peoples and the vital role they have played and continue to play in shaping this great country.
National Aboriginal Day provides all Canadians an opportunity to reflect on the many contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people. It gives us the opportunity to honour Aboriginal peoples and allows us to recognize the importance of strengthening the bond between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people that is fundamental to our identity as a country.
The closing event of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission earlier this month allowed us all to acknowledge the legacy of Indian Residential Schools, and to pledge to move forward with mutual understanding and respect. It was an honour to participate in the closing event, which brought together former students and Canadians from across the country. We will continue to work towards healing the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians.
This year, I was proud to take part in National Aboriginal Day festivities with the Madawaska Maliseet First Nation in my home province of New Brunswick. Our Government is proud of the connection it has with the Madawaska Maliseet and we are committed to continue developing strong relationships that lead to a better future for Aboriginal peoples across Canada.
I encourage everyone to participate in National Aboriginal Day events in your community."
This statement is also available on the Internet at www.aandc.gc.ca.
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SOURCE Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
For further information: Minister's Office, Emily Hilstrom, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, 819-997-0002; Media Relations, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, 819-953-1160