Canada honors its indigenous peoples

On the occasion of the summer solstice, Canada on June 21 celebrated the valuable contributions of indigenous peoples to Canadian society, recognizing the richness and diversity of their First Nation, Inuit and Metis cultures and heritage.

Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Dominic LeBlanc said  he is proud to lead a department and employees across the country that are committed to working with indigenous partners in a spirit of respect and reconciliation, and as joint stewards of the environment.

Fishing is a culturally significant activity for indigenous peoples, but unfortunately, for too long, it was a source of conflict, LeBlanc said.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is committed to changing this dynamic and creating Nation-to-Nation relationships that empower and enhance the quality of life for indigenous peoples from coast-to-coast-to coast, and adding to the economic well-being of the country as a whole,

The fisheries in indigenous communities, for example, generate $120 million in annual landings and create 2,800 jobs, he said. Moreover, the capacity of indigenous groups to support and collaborate in fisheries, oceans and aquatic habitat management will continue to grow, he said.