(Toronto, October 11, 2017) “Today marks the International Day of the Girl, which was created by the United Nations in 2011. Today and every day, we celebrate girls around the world in the face of threats, discrimination, and issues of their well-being. I especially want to encourage First Nation girls to always remember that they are integral members of their families and communities.
As a father I see first-hand the positive outcomes of raising girls to be happy, healthy, and strong. First Nation girls have the potential to do whatever they want. They are future leaders and professionals. Some will become water protectors. Some will become the teachers of our languages and cultures. They may choose to inherit these traditional roles from their mothers and grandmothers.
Today, we have over 40 First Nation female chiefs and many female councilors who give back to their communities through their leadership. I encourage all girls to seek out positive role models in their communities; to look up to their mothers, grandmothers, and female leaders.
As leaders, as fathers, as mothers, and as grandparents, I encourage everyone to continue to remind girls that they are empowered to walk the path that calls them. As community members, I encourage us all to keep working towards establishing happy, healthy communities so First Nation girls receive all of the advantages and opportunities that they deserve.”