Justice and Public Safety
June 21, 2017

The following is being issued at the request of the Human Rights Commission of Newfoundland and Labrador:

Human Rights Commission Recognizes National Aboriginal Day

The Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Commission recognizes National Aboriginal Day, which is celebrated on June 21 each year. First established in 1996, National Aboriginal Day recognizes the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of Canada’s First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples.

The commission supports the work of provincial Indigenous groups and appreciates the importance of the celebrations and other activities that are taking place across Newfoundland and Labrador. All Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are encouraged to celebrate and honour the rich and diverse culture of the Indigenous people in this province by participating in one of the events listed below:

  • Take a guided tour of the exhibition from The Rooms: Our Lives on Land and Sea and explore the stories from the Innu, Inuit, and Southern Inuit and Mi’kmaq peoples. Watch a film in the theatre or enjoy hands-on activity with your family. Tours are being offered at 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. and will take approximately 25 minutes.
  • The 2017 Indigenous Celebration will be happening in Happy Valley-Goose Bay on June 21.
  • The St. John’s Native Friendship Centre will be hosting a week-long celebration from June 19 to 23. The celebrations include a community beach fire, yoga, and a community feast. For a full schedule of events check out the centre’s Facebook page “St. John’s Native Friendship Centre” or email them at training@sjnfc.com.

A complete list of events in the province and across the country can be found at www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/celebrate-canada-days/aboriginal-day/activities.html external link.

The Human Rights Act, 2010 protects Indigenous persons from discrimination based on race, ancestry, sex and the other characteristics outlined in the act. This protection applies to employment, housing, public services, certain associations and publications, provided the issue falls under provincial jurisdiction.

Many complaints made by Indigenous people fall under federal jurisdiction and should be filed through the Canadian Human Rights Commission in Ottawa. Staff at the commission in Newfoundland and Labrador can answer questions on jurisdiction.

Setting aside a day to recognize Indigenous Peoples is part of the wider recognition of their important place within the fabric of Canadian history and their ongoing contributions as First Peoples.

“A year has passed since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) highlighting the importance of recognizing the unique history and needs of the Indigenous community. The TRC identified 94 recommendations to promote awareness of pressing issues facing many Indigenous people across Canada. These calls to action represent an initial step towards addressing the legacy of Residential Schools and advancing the process of reconciliation. On National Aboriginal Day, we reflect and honour the Inuit, Southern Inuit, Innu, and Mi'kmaq throughout the province and other Indigenous people who call Newfoundland and Labrador home. There is much more work to be done.”
Kim Mackay
Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Commission

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Learn More
For more information on the Human Rights Commission, please visit www.thinkhumanrights.ca external link.


Media contacts
Kim Mackay
Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Commission

Christopher Sheppard
Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Commission

2017 06 21                              9:45 a.m.