Jagmeet Singh, Leader of Canada’s NDP, issued the following statement:
National Indigenous Peoples Day is an opportunity to honour and celebrate the exceptional achievements and contributions of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples across this beautiful land. Indigenous communities were vital to Canada’s past and their role today is no less crucial, as they help to shape a more just and inclusive future for everyone.
Today, we also appreciate the diverse histories of Indigenous Peoples and reflect upon our most important relationship as Canadians – our relationship with the first peoples of this land. We all have a responsibility to build a society that is respectful of and informed about Indigenous cultures and rights.
This is why the NDP team is proud of MP Georgina Jolibois’ bill calling for National Indigenous Peoples Day to become a statutory holiday, in addition to the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30th. We will continue to call on the government to take more concrete steps towards reconciliation and decolonization, including by giving more recognition to these days to celebrate the diversity of Indigenous cultures
I am also so proud of my colleague MP Romeo Saganash and his staunch efforts to enshrine the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) into Canadian law. Romeo’s historic bill successfully passed in the House of Commons, and would have marked a fundamental change in the legislative framework for Canada’s engagement with Indigenous communities had it not been for delay tactics in the Senate.
So today, let’s come together to acknowledge the outstanding achievements, history, and diversity of Indigenous people, and recommit to forging an even brighter future for all people in Canada.