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Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones

Tenth Anniversary of National Aboriginal Day

Mr. Geoffrey Kelley pays tribute to the eleven Aboriginal nations of Québec

Québec, June 21, 2006 – Mr. Geoffrey Kelley, Minister for Native Affairs, today took part, both in Montréal and in Québec City, in a series of activities underscoring the tenth anniversary of National Aboriginal Day.

The Minister first attended the inaugural ceremony marking the summer solstice at Parc Émilie-Gamelin in Montréal. This activity was held within the context of the First Peoples’ Festival organized by Land inSights. On this occasion, Mr. Kelley recalled that National Aboriginal Day was an opportunity for the First Nations and the Inuit of Québec to celebrate their traditions and their culture and to show their openness to Québec society. Among the public figures in attendance were Ms. Alanis O’Bomsawin, President of Land inSights, Mr. Gilles O’Bomsawin, Chief of the Abenaki Community of Odanak, and Mr. Benoît Labonté, Mayor of the Borough of Ville-Marie and Member of the Executive Committee responsible for Culture, Heritage, Downtown and Design.

The Minister then headed for Québec City to take part in the launching of a photo album, the work of six students of the Innu Olamen secondary school, located in La Romaine on the North Shore. In the presence of Mr. Georges Bacon, Chief of the Community of Unaman-shipu, Marc Tremblay, the teacher behind the project, and the young photographers, Mr. Kelley hailed the initiative which was a major catalyst in this community. “One of the aspects of the project that I find most appealing is that this initiative has made it possible to open new horizons for these young people. Such a creative activity has certainly helped them boost their self-confidence which will enable them to make their dreams a reality,” pointed out Mr. Kelley.

The day ended with the Minister’s participation in a family celebration having an Aboriginal flavour that was held for a second year in a row at Parc Cartier-Brébeuf in Québec City. Mr. Kelley invited Québec society as a whole to prolong this tenth National Aboriginal Day by multiplying the opportunities for forging closer ties with our Aboriginal fellow citizens all year round.

“We are the friends of the eleven Aboriginal nations that occupied the territory of Québec for thousands of years prior to the arrival of our European ancestors. Today, these nations and communities are our partners. I invite you to discover all year round the great warmth that characterizes the Aboriginal peoples of Québec,” concluded the Minister.


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Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones
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Online as of : 21 juin 2006