Indigenous and Northern Affairs critic Charlie Angus (Timmins –James Bay) made the following statement on National Aboriginal Day:
"National Aboriginal Day is an opportunity to celebrate the rich history, accomplishments and diversity of Indigenous peoples in Canada. The indigenous communities across this vast land are a vital part of Canada’s past, present and future - and we wish them continued success.
The twentieth National Aboriginal Day falls on a landmark year for Indigenous Peoples. The Issue of reconciliation between Canada and Indigenous peoples has become one of the defining moral issues of our time. As part of this path forward we recognize the critical importance of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit People to Canada.
The 94 calls to action coming out of the closing of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission set forward a path of Reconciliation for our country centered on the full adoption and implementation of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
And in a historic ruling the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal found the Canadian Government to be racially discriminating against Indigenous children. The ruling is a stark reminder of how much urgent work we have ahead of ourselves to walk this path of reconciliation and justice together.
It is well past the time for us as a country to take more than just one more attempt at a first step forward. As a country we must meet the call of Indigenous youth who are demanding a better future with meaningful action now.
As New Democrats we will continue to work towards a strong nation to nation relationship that is based on respect and meaningful consultation because Indigenous peoples are the backbone behind much of what makes Canada great."