Today, on June 21, we come together to commemorate National Indigenous Peoples Day, a time dedicated to celebrating the rich history, diverse heritage, unwavering resilience, and vibrant cultures of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples across Canada. This day serves as a poignant reminder of the enduring contributions and profound significance of Indigenous communities in shaping the fabric of our nation.

Originally established as National Aboriginal Day in 1996 by then Governor General of Canada, Roméo LeBlanc, through the Proclamation Declaring June 21 of Each Year as National Aboriginal Day, this annual observance has evolved into National Indigenous Peoples Day. It stands as a testament to the strength, resilience, and cultural richness of Indigenous peoples, highlighting their unique traditions, languages, and customs.

For generations, Indigenous groups and communities have marked June 21 or around that time of year as a day of celebration, coinciding with the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. This significant date holds deep cultural and spiritual meaning, symbolizing renewal, growth, and the interconnectedness of all living beings in harmony with nature.

As we reflect on National Indigenous Peoples Day, we express our deep gratitude to the Indigenous communities across Canada for their enduring stewardship of the land and their gracious hospitality in allowing us to reside, work, play, and thrive on their traditional territories. We acknowledge and honor the invaluable contributions of Indigenous peoples, whose traditional knowledge, wisdom, and cultural practices have enriched our lives and communities in profound ways.

On this day of remembrance and celebration, let us reaffirm our commitment to reconciliation, respect, and partnership with Indigenous peoples, as we strive to build a more inclusive, equitable, and harmonious society for all. May National Indigenous Peoples Day serve as a moment of reflection, appreciation, and solidarity with Indigenous communities across Canada.