Across the country, ceremonies were held on Tuesday to mark National Indigenous Peoples Day, providing an opportunity to celebrate the cultures and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples of the region. Canada.
People gather in person after events took place almost last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m proud to be Algonquin, because we’ve lived on this land for thousands and thousands of years,” Pikwakanagan First Nation chief Wendy Jocko said at a ceremony in Ottawa at the Aboriginal Veterans Memorial.
At another celebration in Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau highlighted the relationship Canada has historically with Indigenous peoples.
“The natives, the first people, taught the settlers how to survive a very long winter,” he said.
In Nova Scotia, hundreds of people gathered to honor survivors who attended the Shubenacadie Residential School, the only school built in the Maritimes.
The march, along with National Indigenous Day celebrations, comes as searches for unmarked graves continue on the old residential school grounds.
Elmer Lewis, who studied for 10 years at Shubenacadie Boarding School, says: “It’s all about punishment, like they’re out to punish you.
The school was demolished in 1986 but Lewis organizes an annual walk to ensure the history of the Shubenacadie school is not forgotten.
“If you ride now, you wouldn’t know there was a residential school here,” he said.
With files from CTV News