GPO Leader Mike Schreiner issued the following statement on National Aboriginal Day:
First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people each have their own unique heritage, language, and culture. Today, on National Aboriginal Day, we celebrate the important contributions that these communities have made to Turtle Island and this place we call Canada.
Now more than ever we need to apply an indigenous worldview to the challenges we face. We can learn from the wisdom of indigenous elders on how to defend the land and water that sustains us. And we must make decisions today that ensure a sustainable future for the next seven generations.
Each year on this day, governments pledge to work closely with indigenous communities to reconcile issues of the past and commit to promises for a better future. However, in this province, Indigenous people continue to lack access to basic human rights like clean water, decent housing, and affordable electricity.
This is unacceptable in a province as prosperous as Ontairo.
The crises witnessed in Attawapiskat, Grassy Narrows and other indigenous communities across our province cannot be ignored. We must act now to address issues facing Indigenous communities.
The government has an obligation to work with indigenous communities – with full partnership, participation, and respect – to make sure everyone in Ontario has access to high quality health care, education, and economic opportunities.
The Green Party of Ontario has and will continue to work with First Nations leaders to protect the land and drinking water both within indigenous communities and across the province. We have so much to learn about sustainability from our indigenous sisters and brothers. And we must act on their wisdom.