National Aboriginal Day is a day recognising and celebrating the cultures and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Indigenous peoples in Canada.
The day was first celebrated in 1996, after it was proclaimed that year by then Governor General of Canada Roméo LeBlanc, to be celebrated on 21 June annually.
21 June was chosen as the statutory holiday for many reasons-including its cultural significance as the Summer solstice, and the fact that it is a day on which many Aboriginal groups traditionally celebrate their heritage.
On 21 June 2017, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released a statement pledging to rename the event National Indigenous People’s Day.
Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde supported the proposed change, called it an “important step,” citing the terminology used in the landmark United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
National Indigenous People’s Day Quotes/Messages
“All things are connected like the blood that unites us, We did not weave the web of life. We are merely a strand in it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.” » Chief Seattle
Peoples we recognize that the testing, development and use of nuclear weapons is a crime against all humanitarian law.” » Hilda Lini
“For Indigenous people, the goal for our land is definitely about protection, but it’s also about use. We see ourselves as so integrated with our territory that our protection is tied to our use and our use is tied to our protection. We use the resources on our territory to live.” » Rebecca Adamson
“Although we are in different boats you in your boat and we in our canoe we share the same river of life.” » Chief Oren Lyons
“This is a coca leaf. This is not cocaine. This represents the culture of indigenous people of the Andean region.” » Evo Morales
“Civilization has ceased to be that delicate flower which was preserved and painstakingly cultivated in one or two sheltered areas of a soil rich in wild species…Mankind has opted for monoculture; it is in the process of creating a mass civilization, as beetroot is grown in the mass. Henceforth, man’s daily bill of fare will consist only of this one item.” » Claude Levi-Strauss
“The forest is not a resource for us, it is life itself. It is the only place for us to live.” » Evaristo Nugkuag Ikanan
“Let us learn from nuclear radiation victims and prevent history from repeating itself.” » Hilda Lini
“There are people all over Australia who use their homes as hubs that they travel from, and they encourage their indigenous people to continue to stay there.” » Andrew Forrest
“I think the most important issue we have as people are what we started, and that is to begin to trust our own thinking again and believe in ourselves enough to think that we can articulate our own vision of the future and then work to make sure that vision becomes a reality.” » Wilma Mankiller
“Most governments in Latin America have failed to recognize the rights of indigenous people and their right to their own traditional territories.” » Bianca Jagger
“We are seeing healing among the stolen generations, and initiatives which are enabling Indigenous people to make their distinctive contribution to our national life.” » Malcolm Fraser
“There are certain regions in the country where the indigenous people eat dogs.” » Jessica Hagedorn
“Solutions will not be found while Indigenous people are treated as victims for whom someone else must find solutions.” » Malcolm Fraser