Statement by Nathan Cullen on National Aboriginal Day

“Today, First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples join with Canadians from coast to coast to coast to celebrate National Aboriginal Day. This special day, also the first day of summer, recognizes the diverse cultures and contributions of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples to our country and world.

The Skeena-Bulkley Valley is enriched by the impressive diversity of First Nations cultures and peoples who share this land.  All our communities benefit from forging relationships that profoundly enrich all of our lives.  I know we are committed to continuing to work together so we can leave healthy communities and ecosystems to the children who follow in our paths.

This year I am privileged to be on Haida Gwaii for National Aboriginal Day to join in the repatriation ceremony of the 140-year-old Jasper Raven Pole and witness the raising of another six new poles.  I am proud to carry the good wishes of the people of Skeena-Bulkley Valley to these special ceremonies. 

Congratulations as well to the Nak’azdli Band in Fort St. James, who are holding a land transfer ceremony today to mark the return of their original village site; Nak’azdli leaders have worked hard to repatriate this land after it was appropriated by the federal government in the 1800’s.

National Aboriginal Day was proclaimed in Canada in1996 by then-General Roméo LeBlanc.  It kick-starts the 11 days of Celebrate Canada!, which includes National Aboriginal Day, Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day (June 24), Canadian Multiculturalism Day (June 27) and concludes with Canada Day (July 1).

Enjoy the day!”

Regards, Nathan