Canada’s Defence Team proudly celebrates Indigenous cultures during Indigenous Awareness Week  

News release

Lieutenant-General Jean-Marc Lanthier, Commander, Canadian Army and Defence Team Champion for Indigenous Peoples, addresses the audience at the Indigenous Awareness Week event held at National Defence Headquarters on May 22, 2019 in Ottawa, Ontario. Master Corporal Donald Lickers was the DND/CAF Eagle Staff Carrier at the event.
Lieutenant-General Jean-Marc Lanthier, Commander, Canadian Army and Defence Team Champion for Indigenous Peoples, addresses the audience at the Indigenous Awareness Week event held at National Defence Headquarters on May 22, 2019 in Ottawa, Ontario. Master Corporal Donald Lickers was the DND/CAF Eagle Staff Carrier at the event.

May 22, 2019 – Ottawa – Department of National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Today, the Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) hosted a commemorative event at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa as part of Indigenous Awareness Week.

Highlights of the event included an address from Lieutenant-General Jean-Marc Lanthier, Commander, Canadian Army and Defence Team Champion for Indigenous Peoples, and guest speaker actor/producer Jennifer Podemski. Participants were also able to see a display of artifacts, demonstrations by Indigenous artisans, and sample traditional Indigenous foods.

The celebration centred on the theme “We are all treaty people / Honouring all my relations because intersectionality matters.” This theme invites personnel to think about their roots and family lines, to take pride in all facets of their heritage and remember that, together, they form a diverse community.

From May 21 to 24, 2019, members the Defence Team are commemorating Indigenous Awareness Week by hosting similar events at various locations across Canada. This initiative enables the DND and CAF to celebrate the Indigenous Peoples of Canada, past and present, and the many Indigenous traditions and cultures that enrich the mosaic of our country

Quotes

“Canada’s fighting force greatly benefits from the diversity of our members. I am honoured to celebrate the culture and history of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada and recognize the significant contributions that Indigenous people have made to the Defence Team. Together, we proudly serve Canadians and stand strong, proud and ready to meet today’s challenges at home and abroad.”

- Lieutenant-General Jean-Marc Lanthier, Commander, Canadian Army and Defence Team Champion for Indigenous Peoples 

Quick facts

  • Indigenous people make up approximately 2.8% (2019) of the military and 3.1% (2017) of the civilian Defence Team populations.

  • The Defence Team engages Indigenous people across the country in a dialogue that highlights the rich cultural diversity, history and contributions that Indigenous people bring to the DND and the CAF, highlighting the common ethos that the Defence community shares with them. 

  • The Canadian Armed Forces supports a number of initiatives designed to help the military population reflect the diversity of Canada’s population. These initiatives include Indigenous youth development programs and outreach efforts in communities across Canada. 

  • The Defence Team Champion for Indigenous Peoples is the Defence Team’s foremost advocate for matters pertaining to Indigenous members within the organizational culture. 

Associated links

Contacts

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353
Email: mlo-blm@forces.gc.ca  


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