Champion for Indigenous Peoples marks Indigenous Awareness Week

May 25, 2021 - Defence Stories

Indigenous Awareness Week - May 25-28

It is a privilege to have been entrusted with the role of Acting Commander Canadian Army. For over 25 years, this position has been honoured with another title: Defence Team Champion for Indigenous Peoples. I very much look forward to this aspect of the position and am pleased to inaugurate Indigenous Awareness Week (IAW) 2021.

This week provides all members of our Defence Team an opportunity to raise their awareness of and celebrate the diverse cultures of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada. By acknowledging their rich history, we can better understand and appreciate who they are, recognize our differences, and embrace the unique qualities everyone brings to the table.

This year’s IAW theme is ‘Indigenous Traditions – Our Connection to Living Systems (of Thought and Practice).’ Those traditions have grown from Indigenous Peoples’ deep knowledge of nature and their stewardship of ecosystems, and can serve as a guide to existing in harmony and balance with our world.

That all things – people, animals, and the world around us – are deeply interconnected is a guiding principle for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples. You may have heard some First Nations express this with the phrase ‘All my relations.’ This relationship and connection with nature and all things is based on embracing differences and seeing the world from other perspectives. As a Defence Team with the common goal of serving and protecting all Canadians, we can only be better by following that example.

To learn more about this year’s IAW theme, please join us at 3 pm (EST) on Thursday, May 27 for a virtual presentation from Dr. John Borrows, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Law at the University of Victoria. Dr. Borrows’ presentation, ‘Weaving Traditions’, considers how Indigenous Peoples use their own legal traditions alongside other standards to search for peace and order in their relations with others. It will provide positive examples of how Indigenous Peoples are using their laws to create brighter futures.

IAW 2021 is an opportunity to honour and recognize the significant contributions of Indigenous Peoples in the service of Canada and to further our understanding of what their traditions, wisdom and knowledge can teach us.

I urge you to join me on that journey this week and beyond.

Major-General Michel-Henri St-Louis,
Acting Commander Canadian Army
Defence Team Champion for Indigenous Peoples

To participate in the virtual presentation

Zoom link: (You are now leaving the Government of Canada website)

Webinar ID: 831 4192 3784

Password (case-sensitive): IAW

*Zoom is not compatible with DWAN, so please view the video on your mobile device, or copy the URL and paste it into a browser on a personal device.

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