A message from the Interim Clerk for National Indigenous Peoples Day

June 21, 2021 -  Defence Stories

This message deals with topics that may cause trauma by invoking memories of past abuse. We recognize that some employees may not want to read on to minimize the risk associated with triggering.

Today is National Indigenous Peoples Day. For the last 25 years, this day has been an occasion to celebrate the heritage, diverse cultures and many contributions of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples.

This year’s celebrations come at a time of great sadness, as we continue to mourn the Indigenous children whose remains were found on the site of a former residential school in Kamloops. We are also thinking of all the Missing Children whose lives were stolen, the Survivors whose lives have been permanently altered, and their families across Canada, many of whom have had to live with the painful legacy of the residential school system.

June 21 was chosen for this important day in part because it coincided with the summer solstice, which is the day with the most light, and one that is spiritually significant for many Indigenous people. While today is a celebration, it is also a reminder of the work ahead of us. As we move forward on the path of reconciliation and work to implement the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, we must listen to, and actively support, Indigenous Peoples and communities.

I encourage all public servants to take time today to reflect on the cultures, traditions, languages, contributions, and heritage of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples. I also think it is important to reflect on how those cultures, traditions and languages have been threatened and attacked because of oppressive practices and systemic discrimination.

So while today is hard in many ways, it’s still a celebration. A time to celebrate the contributions and cultures of Indigenous Peoples. It is also an occasion to celebrate their strength, determination and unwavering spirit to persevere.

Meegwetch. Nakurmiik. Maarsi. Thank you. Merci.

Janice Charette
Interim Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: