National Aboriginal Day
Today, June 21, is National Aboriginal Day. On behalf of the Green Party of Ontario, I want to thank all Aboriginal people (the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis) for your contributions to our communities, province, and country. National Aboriginal Day is a time to celebrate the rich history and cultural diversity of these communities, as well as to reflect on what remains to be done to ensure their health and prosperity.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission's recent report sheds light on the heartbreaking abuses endured by thousands of innocent Aboriginal children torn from their families and cultural environments. This report presents an opportunity for reconciliation requiring meaningful action and partnership with our First Nations, Métis, and Inuit brothers and sisters. It is unacceptable that half of Canada’s First Nation’s children live in poverty. Therefore, we must take action to ensure that indigenous communities have access to high quality health care, education, and economic opportunities.
Going forward, it is also integral that we move beyond consultation to full partnership, participation, and respect when making land-use and development decisions that affect Aboriginal communities. The Green Party of Ontario has and will continue to work with First Nations leaders to protect the land and drinking water both within Aboriginal communities and across the province.