September 28, 2023
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Today, I encourage all of us to listen to the insight of Indigenous peoples. Their knowledge and their powerful stories carry much weight, and can teach us so much about our land, our waters, our country. Thank you to the Algonquin Anishinabe people for welcoming us to this unceded land, and for sharing your knowledge and wisdom with us.
How wonderful it is to see you all today: thousands of students, from all different backgrounds. It warms my heart to see you committing to reconciliation as we approach the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation—a very important day for all peoples—Indigenous and non-Indigenous—and for Canada. I look at you and I know that our country is lucky to have engaged and committed youth, like all of you.
Our country is lucky to have engaged and committed youth like you from coast to coast to coast.
In you, I see inspiration.
I see energy.
I see people who want change.
And we need your voices … now more than ever, because your voices have power.
Today, you will hear from survivors of residential schools.
They are using their voices to share their stories…
…Stories of their childhood.
…Stories of pain and loss.
…Of residential schools.
These are hard stories to tell and they are entrusting you with them.
It’s now up to you to carry them forward.
It’s up to you to say in one, powerful voice, “I will tell others what you tell me today. I will be shaped by what I hear. We will do better for each other.”
Together, let us build bridges of understanding, respect, healing and reconciliation, because each of us must contribute to our collective journey of reconciliation, in big and small ways.
In two days, we mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a day of action and reflection.
It is a day when we all commit to creating a country where people can live and practice their culture without fear. A country where we can be proud of our identities. A country where we promise to never repeat the mistakes of the past.
This will be your legacy. And I have great hope for our future with you leading the way.
One act at a time, you will change the world.