The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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Aboriginal Day Live Concert

Ottawa, Ontario, Wednesday, June 21, 2017


As we begin, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge that we are gathering on the traditional territory of the Algonquin people.

And I thank you for inviting us to share in this celebration of Indigenous heritage and culture.

Twenty-one years ago,

when my predecessor Roméo LeBlanc proclaimed this special day in a ceremony at Rideau Hall,

he spoke of the great contributions of first peoples to this country.

Today, I want to do the same, but make no mistake:

the contributions of Indigenous peoples speak for themselves.

To know this, we need only open our eyes and our ears to what’s taking place across the country in communities large and small.

Simply put, Indigenous peoples are reinventing and reshaping Canada in profound and wonderful ways.

Today’s celebration is the latest vivid demonstration of that fact.

Here in Ottawa and in Yellowknife, Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montréal and Halifax, a dazzling array of performers and audiences are celebrating Inuit, Métis and First Nations cultures and traditions.

It’s a reflection of the strength, creativity and vibrancy of Indigenous peoples. And it points to the potential of this country to become more creative, caring and successful.

Together, we have so much to gain.

What a delight to see this celebration taking place today in view of Parliament!

Let our presence here remind us of the starring role of Indigenous peoples in the story of this land called Canada, its past, its present and its future.

This day is a chance to listen, to teach, to learn and to celebrate.

So let’s recognize the richness and vibrancy of Indigenous cultures and traditions;

let’s rededicate ourselves to becoming truly inclusive and to healing;  

and let’s resolve to honour Indigenous peoples and cultures every day!

Kitchi meegwetch to you all.