Victoria – Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation John Rustad has issued the following statement to mark National Aboriginal Day:
“By celebrating the 21st National Aboriginal Day, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities throughout British Columbia come together to honour the rich traditions, cultures and histories of First Nations, Métis and Inuit people in our province.
“British Columbia is a rich tapestry. The diverse voices of individuals and communities are its threads and Aboriginal people are part of the warp and weft that make the social, cultural and economic fabric of our province strong and vibrant.
“While we celebrate, we also need to continue to listen to the voices of Aboriginal people, to hear what recognition and reconciliation means to them, and to recognize that reconciliation means many things to many people.
“The Truth and Reconciliation Commission states that reconciliation is about establishing and maintaining a mutually respectful relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in this country. Reconciliation is a journey of many steps, big and small, and it is a journey we must walk together in genuine partnership.
“In the spirit of reconciliation, recognition and renewal, I hope that British Columbians embrace the spirit of National Aboriginal Day. By doing so, you are helping to recognize that reconciliation is not just an Aboriginal imperative; it is an imperative for all British Columbians. It is an imperative we must take to heart on all the days that follow.”