Prime Minister Justin Trudeau marked Canada’s National Aboriginal Day with a pledge to rename it and to build a stronger “government-to-government” relationship with Indigenous people in a statement released Wednesday morning.
Mr Trudeau said that “no relationship is more important to Canada than the relationship with Indigenous Peoples.”
“We are also reviewing all federal laws and policies that concern Indigenous Peoples and making progress on the Calls to Action outlined in the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” the statement reads.
The prime minister campaigned in 2015 on a platform that included improving conditions for rural aboriginal communities.
The Assembly of First Nations approved of the move to rename the occasion that has been celebrated since June 21, 1984.
The Assembly head, National Chief Perry Bellegarde, said the decision is more reflective of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
“It’s important to be consistent with international terminology” Mr Bellegrade told CBC News, calling it an important step.
A video statement was posted by Bellegarde on Twitter.
— Perry Bellegarde (@perrybellegarde) June 21, 2017
The name change requires an order-in-council, but will likely be in place for 2018.
“We are also reviewing all federal laws and policies that concern Indigenous Peoples and making progress on the Calls to Action outlined in the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.”
Trudeau will be at 100 Wellington St in the capital for the opening of a new space for Inuit, Metis and First Nations communities. The building was once a United States Embassy, and it is considered to be highly valuable real estate in Ottawa.
It is now called Indigenous House.
— Todd Lamirande (@ToddLamirande) June 21, 2017
Image of Indigenous House from Tom Lamirande on Twitter.
More details to follow.