Minister’s Statement on National Indigenous Peoples Day
NOTE: The following is a statement from Karla MacFarlane, Minister of L’nu Affairs.
Today, June 21, is National Indigenous Peoples Day, a day to appreciate and celebrate the rich traditions and varied customs of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people throughout Canada.
The day provides us with an opportunity to learn more about Indigenous history, perspectives and culture and helps us build stronger relationships rooted in mutual respect and understanding.
It’s also a time to recognize the many contributions Indigenous people have made and continue to make across the country.
Here in Mi’kma’ki, we acknowledge and honour the First People of Nova Scotia, the Mi’kmaq. Mi’kmaw culture and heritage are woven into the fabric of Nova Scotia, making the province stronger and more diverse.
Since becoming Minister of L’nu Affairs, I have had the honour of visiting several of the 13 Mi’kmaw communities around the province. I look forward to visiting every community. By meeting M’ikmaw leaders and community members, including Elders and Knowledge Holders, I have increased my own understanding of our mutual challenges and opportunities. We all have a critical role to play in advancing reconciliation and helping build meaningful relationships.
Understanding Mi’kmaw ways of knowing and being helps connect us to our shared history – a history that we are learning about through initiatives like Treaty Education Nova Scotia. Through this work, a partnership co-led by the Office of L’nu Affairs and our Mi’kmaw partners at Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey, all Nova Scotians can learn the importance of our treaty relationship.
Identifying that language is an integral part of cultural identity, I’m pleased that the Mi’kmaw Language Act recognizing Mi’kmaw as Nova Scotia’s first language was passed by the legislature in April with the support of all three parties. In 2021, our Province recognized September 30th as National Truth and Reconciliation Day for the first time to honour residential school survivors, their families and communities.
This year, on the day of summer solstice, make time to explore and learn about First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people in a way that enriches you. Whether it is reading a book by an Indigenous author, watching a film or listening to some Mi’kmaw music, attending a community celebration or learning about our country’s history, I encourage you to celebrate and recognize the heritage and culture of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis in Canada.
Let’s continue to walk the path of reconciliation together and understand what it means to be a treaty person.
Mawkina'masultinej (Maw-ginah-mahsul-dee-nedge); let’s learn together.