National Indigenous Peoples Day is being celebrated across Canada today and the BC Assembly of First Nation’s Regional Chief Terry Teegee and staff are pleased to be taking this time to join their families and communities to embrace and showcase their diverse cultures, knowledge, history and languages. All British Columbians are invited and encouraged to join First Nations by participating in the many activities happening throughout the province.

This is also an opportunity to consider and reflect on some current political and social initiatives that are poised to drive change within Canada. Bill C-91: An Act respecting Indigenous Languages, and Bill C-92: An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit, Metis Children, youth and families were passed by the House of Commons and Senate today and with the recent release of Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls delivered 231 individual Calls for Justice directed at governments, institutions, social service providers, industries and all Canadians. Together we need to understand our shared history, the actions needed to advance shared goals, and implement the range of legislative and policy changes to build a better Canada; Canadians should be telling their leaders to do better in addressing poverty and ending the cultural genocide of Indigenous peoples in Canada.

“On this significant day, First Nations are celebrating their strength and resilience and many of our families and communities are focused on moving forward by building and contributing to healthy and prosperous First Nations. We continue to participate in the process of reconciliation and look to all Canadians to support First Nations rights and title to their lands and resources,” stated Regional Chief Terry Teegee.

National Indigenous Peoples Day was recognized for the first time in Canada as National Aboriginal Day in 1996 following a recommendation of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples the year before. June 21, the summer solstice, has been chosen as the day to honour the First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples who have lived on this land since time immemorial.

For further information, contact: Annette Schroeter, Communications Officer, phone (250)962-1603, BC Assembly of First Nations.

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