We recognize this statement may contain information that is difficult for many and that our efforts to honour survivors and families may act as an unwelcome reminder for those who have suffered hardships through generations of harmful government policies toward Indigenous Peoples.
The Hope for Wellness Help Line provides immediate, toll-free telephone and online chat-based support and crisis intervention to all Indigenous Peoples in Canada. This service is available in English and French and, upon request, in Cree, Ojibway and Inuktitut. Counsellors are available by phone at 1-855-242-3310 or online chat at www.hopeforwellness.ca.
The National Residential School Crisis Line is available to provide emotional and crisis referral services by phone, 24 hours a day, at 1-866-925-4419.
The Minister of Canadian Heritage Pablo Rodriguez, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services, and the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, issued the following statement today.
“Today, on National Indigenous Peoples Day, we invite Canadians to learn about the linguistic and cultural diversity as well as the outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis.
“National Indigenous Peoples Day takes place on the summer solstice-a day of spiritual significance for many Indigenous Peoples and communities for generations. This day is traditionally marked by cultural ceremonies, celebrations and events that recognize and highlight the significant contributions of Indigenous Peoples from coast to coast to coast.
“It is an opportunity to reiterate the importance of the relationships we continue to build with First Nations, Inuit and Métis, grounded in respect and cooperation, and to reaffirm our commitment to Indigenous Peoples to support their visions of self-determination.
“The Government of Canada recognizes the distinct languages, cultural practices, heritage and spiritual beliefs of First Nations, Inuit and Métis in Canada. On National Indigenous Peoples Day, we encourage everyone to celebrate and honour Indigenous knowledge and experiences, in the spirit of reconciliation.
“While today is a time to celebrate, it is also an opportunity to recognize and reflect on the work that remains. This year marks the second commemoration of National Indigenous Peoples Day since the discovery of unmarked graves at the former Kamloops Residential School, a sad revelation now echoed across multiple other communities in Canada and a tragic reminder of the historic and ongoing trauma that Indigenous Peoples continue to suffer. Reconciliation relies on our continued commitment to confront the difficult truths and realities of our collective past and the lasting impacts of colonialism. The Government of Canada will continue to support Indigenous communities with the difficult work and healing ahead.
“Today, and throughout National Indigenous History Month, please take a moment to move forward on the path to reconciliation and begin or continue your learning journey:
- Explore the many rich Indigenous languages in Canada as we begin the UNESCO International Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022-2032).
- Browse the interactive map to find events happening in your community that commemorate the unique heritage, history and remarkable achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples.
- Find out how you can take part by visiting the National Indigenous Peoples Day activity guide.
- Explore the National Indigenous History Month educational portal’s resources.