'We look forward to strengthening and deepening our common bonds.' - James Clancy
Ottawa (15 June 2007) - The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is pleased to join in a spirit of solidarity with Aboriginal peoples in recognizing and celebrating National Aboriginal Day across the country.
The occasion is marked every year on June 21 in honour of the achievements of Aboriginal peoples in many areas, including art, language, reverence for the land and spirituality.
"The National Union salutes all Aboriginal peoples on this important national day," says NUPGE President James Clancy.
"We are committed to working in partnership with Aboriginal workers and Aboriginal communities. The ongoing challenges of fighting systemic racism and improving access to jobs, health care, housing, child care and education are goals we share in common," Clancy says.
"We are proud of the Aboriginal workers who are members of our union and we look forward to strengthening and deepening our common bonds and to forging even stronger relationships in the future."
Proclaimed in 1996
June 21 was first proclaimed in 1996 as an annual occasion to recognize the diverse cultures and outstanding contributions to Canada of the First Nations, Inuit and Métis. Collectively these groups make up the Aboriginal peoples of Canada.
The date was selected for several reasons, including the fact that it coincides with the summer solstice.
In 1982 the National Indian Brotherhood (now the Assembly of First Nations) called for the creation of a National Aboriginal Solidarity Day to be celebrated on June 21. In 1995, a similar recommendation was made by the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. It called for a National First Peoples Day to be designated.
Also in 1995, a national conference of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people, known as The Sacred Assembly, called for a national holiday to celebrate the contributions of Aboriginal peoples to Canada.
The first National Aboriginal Day was proclaimed by the Governor General the following year. It is now part of a series of 'Celebrate Canada' days beginning on June 21 and followed by St-Jean Baptiste Day on June 24, Canadian Multiculturalism Day on June 27 and Canada Day on July 1. NUPGE
June 21 - Share in the Celebration