Why an Indigenous People’s Day?

MPP-elect Sol Mamakwa, a member of the Kingfisher Lake First Nation, explains the importance of acknowledging National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21:

Dear editor

“Our Peoples have been on the lands that are now called Canada since time immemorial. In the past, due to racist colonial laws such as the Indian Act and policies that banned our ceremonies, languages and ways of life, we were not allowed to be who we are. But we never forgot. Our connection to the land and our ancestors runs deep. So on this day we will honour all our ways of life and our People’s accomplishments in the face of genocide. We will ensure that future generations know who they are, and where they come from.

Today, we invite all Canadians to celebrate with us, and learn about the ways of life and practices that emerged from the land that we now share.

The Ontario NDP encourages all people to take a moment and reflect on Canada’s history, the trauma that continues throughout our families and communities — and the resiliency of our Peoples.

More than that, we invite Ontarians to reflect on what is needed to ensure Indigenous traditions and practices are honoured, the land and Indigenous languages are protected, and our shared well-being is ensured.

We wish all those residing on these lands a Happy Indigenous People’s Day. Miigwetch.

Sol Mamakwa

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