Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario, and David Zimmer, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, released the following statement today:
“The 20th anniversary of National Aboriginal Day comes at a hopeful time — a time of renewal in the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. On May 30, our government took an important step by apologizing in the Legislature for the brutalities committed for generations at residential schools and the continued intergenerational trauma this has caused. We also released an action plan — developed working closely with Indigenous partners — that will help Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples journey together on a path of reconciliation.
The apology and the action plan are demonstrations of our government’s commitment to build relationships with Indigenous peoples based on mutual trust and respect. They reflect our acknowledgement that we cannot change the future without understanding and honouring the past. The 26 initiatives outlined in the plan will help teach a new generation the truth about our shared history, help close the outcome gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples and help all of us build a society where we can walk together as equals, living in peace and harmony on the land we now share.
Today, Ontario joins people all across Canada in proudly honouring the historic and ongoing contributions of Indigenous people. We hope that everyone takes the opportunity to enjoy the celebrations of National Aboriginal Day across the province, through music, dance, stories, food and more. Miigwetch. Niá:wen. Marsé.”