Ontario government celebrates National Aboriginal Day

Archived Release

Ontario government celebrates National Aboriginal Day

Ministry of Indigenous Affairs

TORONTO, June 21 - The Ontario government wishes to extend greetings and best wishes to all Aboriginal peoples on the occasion of National Aboriginal Day, 2004. National Aboriginal Day presents an opportunity for Ontarians to learn more about the rich culture and history of Aboriginal people in Ontario. Ontario has the largest population of Aboriginal people in Canada. "Aboriginal people have a rich tradition in Canada and I encourage all Ontarians to celebrate with them today," said Michael Bryant, Ontario Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Native Affairs. "Our government recognizes the tremendous contribution Aboriginal people have made to our society. And we are working with Aboriginal leaders in a new spirit of respect and cooperation." National Aboriginal Day was proclaimed by the Governor General of Canada on June 21, 1996, to honour the First Nations, Inuit and Metis cultures. This date was chosen because of the cultural significance of the summer solstice, when many Aboriginal groups celebrate their heritage. "In March, the Premier and I met with Aboriginal leaders to signal the beginning of a new era of relations between Ontario and its Aboriginal residents," said Bryant. "Last week, I attended the 30th annual All Ontario Chiefs Conference at Hiawatha First Nation, where I reinforced the McGuinty government's commitment to Aboriginal communities to share in Ontario's prosperity." National Aboriginal Day is an opportunity to get to know neighbours and friends in the Aboriginal community. Ontarians should try to participate in Aboriginal day festivities being held across the province. Disponible en fran├žais www.nativeaffairs.jus.gov.on.caFor further information: Contacts: Sandra D'Ambrosio, Minister's Office, (416) 326-1000; Flavia Mussio, Ontario Native Affairs Secretariat, (416) 326-4778