Joint Release: National Indigenous Peoples Day

Annamie Paul, candidate for leadership of the Green Party of Canada and Racelle Kooy, 2019 Green Party Candidate for Victoria, together issued the following statement:

“Today, as we mark National Indigenous Peoples Day, we celebrate with joy the richness and diversity of Indigenous Peoples. We honour the cultures, traditions, innovation, and leadership of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Peoples.

National Indigenous Peoples Day is a moment when Indigenous Peoples have a clear platform to be loud and proud. It is a celebration that finds forms of expression through arts, politics, and community. This Day is an opportunity for all of us to deepen our own understanding of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Peoples. In doing so, we deepen our connection to our hosts and their laws, and stewardship of the lands we now call home.

As members of the Black Diaspora and of the Samahquam First Nation respectively, we recognise that the parallels between our people’s histories strengthen our allyship. We acknowledge the profoundly damaging legacy of colonialism and the ongoing impact of racism which continues to affect our Peoples. We know that ancestral culture, languages, and lands are worth fighting for. We stand together in support of the ongoing and powerful calls for racial justice.

True reconciliation requires Indigenous self-determination and dismantling systems of oppression. To that end, we support the calls action that have been voiced in many forms since the inception of Canada. We call for enacting the latest calls for action and justice from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. We join the chorus of calls for Canada to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Peoples are an essential part of participatory democracy and their leadership is needed at the decision-making table to guide our country through these times of unprecedented change.

On this National Indigenous Peoples Day, we reaffirm our dedication to fighting for justice while celebrating and uplifting the contributions of Indigenous Peoples across this land. We encourage every person in Canada to use the day to find a way to learn more about their hosts.

Indigenous Peoples’ vibrant, diverse ways of knowing and being are fundamental to building a more equitable and inclusive future for us all.”

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