National Indigenous Peoples Day message
Today is National Indigenous Peoples Day. Across Canada, people from all walks of life and Nations are coming together to celebrate the rich culture and history of Indigenous peoples. For Indigenous peoples, it is an opportunity to reflect and tell our truth, our own story, in our own place. It is about honouring and valuing who we are in a respectful way and the great contributions of our people.
Our story, the story of NunatuKavut Inuit, is one of resilience, determination and belonging. Like many other Indigenous Nations, our people have lived through colonization for generations and it has impacted our language, culture, knowledge systems, education and way of life. And, we are still here. Today, we continue to assert our right to self-government and the management of our lands, waters and resources, which is vital to our very survival. We fish from our waters, harvest from our lands and provide for one another, our families and our communities. We remember and honour our ancestors for protecting our land and waters and for always reminding us of our long and deep connection to our traditional places, to home. And, we proudly fly our new flag, which is a symbol of our beautiful culture and way of life.
This date, June 21, 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. We are in talks with the Government of Canada on the recognition of our Indigenous rights and self-determination, a significant step in our “land claim” journey. And our relationship with the Province is in a much better place and moving in the right direction. We are confident that we can build good agreements that help to fulfill our vision and supports the health and well-being of our people and our communities for now and into the future.
I thank all those who have walked and continue to walk with on this journey as partners and allies, as supporters and contributors. We recognize the many contributions of the Innu and our relations, the Inuit of Nunatsiavut, and all the First Peoples of their traditional lands. Wherever you are today, I encourage you to celebrate.
On behalf of the NunatuKavut Community Council and all NunatuKavut Inuit, I wish you a happy and enjoyable National Indigenous Peoples Day.
President Todd Russell
NunatuKavut Community Council