Message from the Governor General on the occasion of National Indigenous Peoples Day

June 21, 2023

Canada’s story—our history—begins with Indigenous peoples. It begins with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples, who have passed down their stories through the generations, for thousands of years. On National Indigenous Peoples Day, I want to celebrate the stories and history of Indigenous peoples, their joys and successes, the languages, identity and culture that are thriving. And I hope that you join me. For all Canadians, this is an act of reconciliation.

How we learn about Indigenous peoples is up to each and every one of us. It can start with a simple act, such as going beyond the map to acknowledge the context of a place and the history of the people who have called this land home since time immemorial. Learn about Indigenous peoples past and present: about those who made a difference, who challenge norms, who created success and who champion Indigenous rights. Discover Indigenous art, literature, music and culture. In doing so, in educating yourself about our true history, you are building bridges and strengthening our diverse and inclusive society.

And we all share this responsibility. Respecting Indigenous history and reconciliation go together. It’s not about rewriting history, it’s about painting a fuller picture. It’s about understanding who we are and how we make space for each other, and how we build a strong country together.

As we mark National Indigenous Peoples Day, I encourage all Canadians to learn about each other, to incorporate Indigenous knowledge in schools, businesses, governments, nature and communities. I believe in our collective efforts to create positive change for Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples alike, from coast to coast to coast.

Mary Simon

Media information:
Rideau Hall Press Office

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