Nova Scotians Celebrate National Aboriginal Day

Aboriginal Affairs

June 21, 2013 9:59 AM

Nova Scotians in all communities are celebrating the rich culture and important contributions of the Mi'kmaq people as part of National Aboriginal Day, today, June 21.

Premier Darrell Dexter, who is also Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, marked the occasion at a summer solstice sunrise ceremony at White Point Beach Resort in Hunt's Point. The event was hosted by Acadia First Nation communities and led by Elder Todd Labrador.

"The Mi'kmaq people play a tremendous role in the cultural, economic and social well-being of Nova Scotia," said Premier Dexter. "The province enjoys a strong and open relationship with the aboriginal community here, and we are continuing to work with our aboriginal partners to create jobs and build stronger communities for First Nations in Nova Scotia--an outcome that benefits the entire province."

"On behalf of all Nova Scotians, I am pleased and proud to join with all Canadians in celebrating National Aboriginal Day."

Nova Scotia is facing unprecedented opportunities, including shipbuilding, renewable energy projects and the Maritime Link. The province wants to ensure that aboriginal people play a part in those projects and is working to help those groups--particularly young aboriginal people--prepare for the future.

This work includes investing in education and skills training for Mi'kmaq youth and targeting groups that are under-represented in Nova Scotia's workforce.

"The province is fortunate to work so closely and collaboratively with Mi'kmaq leaders and their communities across the province," said Premier Dexter. "Aboriginal businesses in Nova Scotia are supporting economic development by creating new jobs and expertise, particularly in the area of renewable energy."

Nova Scotia is a Canadian leader in aboriginal consultation, making the province even more attractive to potential project proponents and businesses that recognize the importance of meaningful consultation.

Activities are being held across the province today in honour of National Aboriginal Day. The event at White Point Beach Lodge includes a Mi'Kmaw Village Lunch Experience, an artists' showcase, a traditional wigwam display and presentations on Kejimkujik's petroglyphs and discoveries at Port Joli.

National Aboriginal Day was first proclaimed in 1996 by former Gov. Gen. Romeo LeBlanc and is held on the summer solstice, the longest day of the year and the first day of summer. Traditionally, the summer solstice is the day on which many aboriginal communities celebrate their cultural and spiritual beliefs.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     Nova Scotians are celebrating the rich culture and

important contributions of the Mi'kmaq people as part of

National Aboriginal Day, today (June 21st).

     Premier Darrell Dexter, who is also Minister of Aboriginal

Affairs, marked the occasion at a summer solstice sunrise

ceremony at White Point Beach Resort in Hunt's Point. The event

was hosted by Acadia First Nation communities and led by Elder

Todd Labrador.

     Premier Dexter says the Mi'kmaq people play a tremendous

role in the cultural, economic and social well-being of Nova

Scotia. He says the province is working with aboriginal partners

to create jobs and build stronger communities for First Nations

that will benefit the entire province.

     Nova Scotia is facing unprecedented opportunities,

including shipbuilding, renewable energy projects, and the

Maritime Link.

     The province wants to ensure that aboriginal people play a

part in those projects and is investing in education and skills

training for Mi'kmaq youth and targeting groups that are under-

represented in Nova Scotia's workforce.

     National Aboriginal Day was first proclaimed in 1996 by

former Gov. Gen. Romeo LeBlanc and is held on the summer

solstice, the longest day of the year and the first day of

summer.

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Media contact: Jennifer Stewart
              Cell: 902-497-7198
              E-mail: stewarjl@gov.ns.ca