Statement on National Indigenous Peoples' Day

Leah Gazan released the following statement on National Indigenous Peoples' Day:

“National Indigenous Peoples Day is a call to recognize and celebrate our history, heritage, and diversity; however, for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Peoples in Canada, this day can feel heavy with the burden of hurdles we must still overcome.

Many Indigenous communities are still without clean drinking water, dealing with overcrowded and substandard housing, and are often not provided with the resources and opportunities to stay in our communities. Indigenous People suffer worse health and wellness outcomes than their non-Indigenous peers. We are over-policed, over-incarcerated, and under-resourced.

Recently, racist comments equating Indigeneity with criminality were expressed without repercussion in the Parliament of Canada and the record was allowed to be permanently altered to change the meaning of what was said. Racism is not only tolerated in Parliament, but is protected. This must change.

I want to remind Indigenous Peoples across Canada to take time today to rest, reconnect with your community, and listen to your spirit. We are strong and, in spite of attempts to eradicate us, we are still here standing in strong resistance.

I celebrate the 400 million strong Indigenous people in more than 90 countries around the world and commit to continuing to work to realize human rights for all Indigenous peoples.

Happy National Indigenous Peoples Day.”

Leah Gazan
(204) 984-1675

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