Mr. Speaker, June 21 is the summer solstice, the day of the year with the longest light and the promise of warmer days ahead. It is also a day for all Canadians to find ways to honour and celebrate the diversity and vibrancy of first nations, Métis and Inuit peoples through National Indigenous Peoples Day.
To the First Nations communities in my riding, Sitansisk and Welamukotuk, I say woliwon for being leaders and land guardians of our beautiful region; for being driving economic forces; for celebrating and sharing their culture, heritage and identity; and for their strength and triumph in the face of centuries of colonialism.
Activities and events are organized across Wabanaki Territory, including in Eqpahak, where Wotastoqey Tribal Council, JEDI and MAWIW Council, in partnership with the City of Fredericton, host a special gathering on the lawn of the provincial legislature, with drumming, dancing, games, food and more. There will also be a celebration in Carleton Park throughout the day, with live music and art that honours the rich heritage of the Welastekwewiyik.
We are at a time in our history when we are collectively engaging on the path of reconciliation, of healing and reclaiming and of transforming who we are and who we want to be; indigenous peoples are leading the way. Happy National Indigenous Peoples Day.