Statement by Minister Bennett, Minister Miller, Minister Vandal and Minister Guilbeault on International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples


OTTAWA, ONTARIO (August 9, 2020) – The Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, Carolyn Bennett, issued the following statement today:

"The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations; the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services; the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs; and the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage, issued the following statement to commemorate International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples:

"Today marks the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples. This day is celebrated around the world as people are encouraged to reflect on and support the protection and promotion of Indigenous rights.

In partnership with First Nations, Inuit and Métis, Canada has been working to affirm their rights and support their visions of self-determination. The Recognition of Indigenous Rights and Recognition Tables are making significant progress as communities articulate their priorities and assert jurisdiction. This year we are also working to co-develop the legislation that will implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

In partnership with Indigenous peoples, we are working to undo federally imposed systems of governance and administration in favour of Indigenous design and delivery of programs and services. Indigenous peoples are working hard to rebuild and reconstitute their nations, advance self-determination and, for First Nations, facilitate the transition away from the Indian Act towards self-government.

Canada is acting upon the shared vision of supporting and empowering Indigenous people to address the socio-economic conditions in their communities by exercising their jurisdiction and control of the design and delivery of services.

This year's theme for International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples is COVID-19 and Indigenous peoples' resilience. We continue to learn from the innovative ways Indigenous peoples demonstrate resiliency and strength during this pandemic.  Communities have taken a lead role in designing and delivering a highly effective pandemic response that responds to the distinct needs and circumstances in their communities that is grounded in their culture, language and traditions.

We know that around the world and in Canada, Indigenous peoples face challenges caused by colonization. COVID-19 has further highlighted inequality and the systemic issues that must be addressed. We recognize that Indigenous peoples in Canada face systemic racism and discrimination. The Government of Canada is committed to addressing these issues to ensure everyone in Canada can live with dignity and feel safe in their communities.

Today marks an opportunity to reiterate our commitment to advance reconciliation and renew the relationship with First Nations, Inuit and Métis, based on affirmation of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership. We wish all of you a memorable International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples."

For access to this statement in Cree, Mohawk, Michif and Inuktitut language, contact us at


For more information, media may contact:

Emily Williams
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

Vanessa Adams
Senior Communications Advisor and Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Indigenous Services

Allison St.Jean
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Daniel Vandal
Minister of Northern Affairs

Camille Gagné-Raynauld
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Steven Guilbeault
Minister of Canadian Heritage

Media Relations
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada

Media Relations
Heritage Canada
819 994-9101

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