National Indigenous Peoples Day message from President Russell
Ullukut – good day.
National Indigenous Peoples Day is a day when Canadians come together to reflect on the rich and diverse history and culture of all Indigenous peoples across Canada. For Indigenous peoples, it allows us a platform to speak our truth, tell our story, and celebrate our connection to place.
Days like today are important. As Inuit, our way has always been one of sharing, caring, fairness and respect. We cherish days like these, that help shine a light on the contributions of Indigenous people to society, and to each other.
NunatuKavut Inuit remain connected to the land, ice and waters of our ancestors. We do so in a way that respects the earth, and honors the ways of our past. As beneficiaries of the British-Inuit Treaty of 1765, we have continued to grow and remain strong in our territory. Our families, our youth carry on the traditions and ways of being of those who came before them.
We see this during our Annual General Assembly each year. We see this at every event we hold celebrating our Treaty. Our youth are engaged, and are proud and eager to share their skills and knowledge, as are our Elders.
This comes in the form of youth drumming groups, and the beloved Sandwich Bay Residential School Drumming Group. It comes from NCC members of every age who are eager to take to the waters and participate in our communal fishery every summer. The list goes on. The NunatuKavut Community Council and NunatuKavut Inuit are moving forward together because of the contributions of those living in our territory and our allies, and we will always be here on these lands, these places we call home.
The NunatuKavut Community Council continues our 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 to self-determination. And while we may be confronted with colonial attitudes and positions that try to diminish our rights, we have pushed forward, and will continue to do so.
We are still here. This is our home.
Wherever you are today, I encourage you to celebrate and reflect. And, where possible, take action to affirm our identity, our place, our rights.
On behalf of the NunatuKavut Community Council, I wish you all a happy and enjoyable National Indigenous Peoples Day.
President Todd Russell