Totem Pole Ceremony - Chengdu

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Totem Pole Ceremony

Chengdu, Sunday, July 4, 2010

I am overjoyed to join you today to mark the unveiling of the totem pole that symbolizes the strong ties of solidarity that link Canada and China, and in particular the First Nations peoples and the Qing.

In 2008, Canadians were struck by the images of destruction emanating from this region, in the wake of the devastating earthquake. Yet we did not remain indifferent. We committed to supporting you and your efforts to rebuild the region.

And one of the most poignant examples of Canada’s contribution was the role that the First Nations peoples, our deepest cultural root in North America, made to support their sisters and brothers here in China, as you sought to re-emerge strong survivors from the earthquake.

In this vein, I am so delighted that Grand Chief Edward John is a member of the Canadian delegation accompanying me on this journey of friendship. He was there at the inception of this great partnership.

And it is to complete this circle of solidarity, honouring the value and power of people-to-people relations that we are joining hands today to celebrate the unveiling of the totem pole.

May this stand as an enduring symbol of the bonds of fraternity that link Canada and China as strong allies, strategic partners, and excellent friends.

Long live our friendship!