The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), made the following statement about National Indigenous Peoples Day on June 21:
“On National Indigenous Peoples Day, observed each year on the summer solstice, we celebrate the heritage, achievements and contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.
“Today and every day, I encourage you to listen and amplify Indigenous voices and stories. Take part in celebrations and activities happening in your local communities. Support Indigenous businesses, entrepreneurs, and artists.
“The region we know as Atlantic Canada is the traditional and unceded territories of the Mi’gmaq, Wolastoqiyik and Peskotomuhkati Nations of the Wabanaki Confederacy, and of the Innuit, Innu and Mi’kmaq peoples of Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as the ancestral home of the Beothuk people. The Government of Canada is committed to respecting the diverse histories, cultures and knowledge of the Indigenous peoples who have lived on, and cared for these lands since time immemorial.
“As minister responsible for ACOA, I am encouraged to see the positive impact that Indigenous-led initiatives and projects are having on Indigenous and non-Indigenous businesses and communities across the region. In addition to growing a more diverse, inclusive economy, these initiatives are pointing the way to a more sustainable future for all Canadians.
“Among these initiatives are 66 Indigenous-led clean tech projects currently underway or completed in Atlantic Canada as part of the Indigenous Climate Leadership Agenda. These include wind and solar projects as well as greenhouse projects.
“Other Indigenous-led initiatives supported by ACOA include projects to help provide training for Indigenous women entrepreneurs, and boost Indigenous experiential tourism – which is the fastest growing tourism sector in Canada.
“As we continue to work collaboratively to address urgent challenges like climate change and building a resilient, sustainable economy, I encourage all Atlantic Canadians to respectfully consult with Indigenous experts and community members, and thoughtfully incorporate Indigenous ways of knowing into your day-to-day work.”