National Indigenous Peoples Day message
ullukut – Good day.
National Indigenous Peoples Day is a day when people from all walks of life come together to reflect on the rich and diverse history and culture of all Indigenous peoples of Canada. For Indigenous peoples, it provides us with an opportunity to tell our truth, our story and our connection to our place.
It is important to take this time to celebrate who we are, what we are about, our resilience and the freedom that we have to be ourselves in our own place. For generations, there were those from the outside who came to our lands, who thought that they were better and that they knew the best way. They tried to take away our culture, our stories, our voices and our language. We continue to be confronted with colonial attitudes and positions today. There are those who have attempted to discredit us and create a false narrative about who we are. But they have failed time and time again.
We are still here. NunatuKavut Inuit remain connected to the land, ice and waters of our ancestors. We continue to practice our traditions. We hunt, harvest, trap, and fish in the same places as those who came before us. We are rightful beneficiaries of the British-Inuit Treaty of 1765, which recognized and affirmed our presence and connection to these places. The NunatuKavut Community Council (NCC) is now in modern day Treaty talks with the Government of Canada on the Recognition of our Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination (RIRSD). This is part of our journey of self-determination.
This date also marks summer solstice. As we welcome this new season, we are reminded of all we have accomplished together through collective hard work and persistence. The NunatuKavut Community Council is stronger as an Inuit governing body and we are stronger as a people. We continue to strengthen our right to self-government and the management of our lands, waters and resources, which is vital to our very survival.
We invite you today, and in the days ahead, to learn more about the Inuit of NunatuKavut. You will find that our story is one of determination, belonging and strength, right here at home in our place, on our homeland. This is not unlike the story of so many Indigenous peoples in this country and around the world. And, in many ways, this is what this day is all about. Celebrating and sharing our unique and shared histories and culture and the great contributions of all Indigenous peoples on our collective path toward truth and reconciliation.
Wherever you are today, I encourage you to celebrate and reflect. On behalf of the NunatuKavut Community Council, I wish you all a happy and enjoyable National Indigenous Peoples Day.
President Todd Russell
NunatuKavut Community Council