June 21, 2016 – Ottawa, Ontario – Canadian Human Rights Commission
Marie-Claude Landry, Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, issues the following statement for Canada’s National Aboriginal Day:
“Each year, people across Canada come together to honour Indigenous languages, cultures and experiences on National Aboriginal Day. It is a day of celebration. It is also a day to call for awareness and action on important issues facing Indigenous peoples in Canada.
“Systemic discrimination is still a daily reality for too many Indigenous men, women and children. It is unimaginable that anyone would be living in these kinds of vulnerable conditions and this kind of persistent disadvantage in a country like Canada.
“It is not enough for Canada to say that we are an inclusive, diverse and prosperous country. We must be true to our own values, and “walk the talk” when it comes to the way First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples are treated in Canada.
“Reconciliation and the fight for justice and equality should not rest solely on the shoulders of Indigenous people. It’s a collective responsibility that is going to take all of us, working together. We need each other in order to be a better country. If we are to truly bring about change and reconciliation in our children’s lifetime, it will require a collective and concerted effort that is built upon trust, respect, education and understanding.
“Reconciliation is not just a one-time discussion. It is a journey. The Canadian Human Rights Commission will continue to be an active partner and vocal ally along this journey to realizing reconciliation and equality in this country.”