“National Aboriginal Day is an opportunity for us to honour and celebrate Ontario’s First Nation, Métis and Inuit people, their unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions to our Province.
Last month, I was honoured to participate in the Ontario government’s apology for the historic brutalities committed for generations at residential schools.
Apologies are important, but of course, it’s not enough to apologize. We need to learn from the mistakes of history, and we need to stop repeating them.
Recent events, including the tragic loss of young lives in Attawapiskat, should cause us to redouble our efforts to ensure that every First Nation in this province has access to safe drinking water, safe housing, and quality health care and to ensure that children and youth have access to the opportunities that they need to start their lives, and look forward to their own futures.
But reconciliation won’t just happen. Political leaders need to have political will to make it happen.
That is our task moving forward.
As we celebrate National Aboriginal Day, I’m recommitting to doing everything we can to build a future free of racism, discrimination, inequity and injustice.”