Statement on National Indigenous Peoples Day

National Indigenous History Month Banner
The banner for National Indigenous History Month

Today, we recognize National Indigenous Peoples Day. On this and every day we acknowledge the right to self-determination of all First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada, and celebrate their heritage, culture, and contributions. Since 1996, the country has celebrated this day on the summer solstice because of its significance in many Indigenous communities across Canada. June is also Indigenous History Month, which provides an opportunity to reflect on the history and diversity of Indigenous people in Canada.

In Nova Scotia, we acknowledge the Mi’kmaq as the original inhabitants who have been custodians of the land for time immemorial. Since 1725, the Peace and Friendship Treaties have governed the relationship between settlers and the Mi’kmaq. These treaties still guarantee the hunting, fishing, and land use rights of the Mi’kmaq today.

We also reflect on Indigenous people’s impact within the legal profession in Nova Scotia and beyond. Donald Marshall Jr., Jamie Tanis Gladue, and Ronald Edward Sparrow are just a few of the many Indigenous people who have made the justice system more equitable. Through their work, and the work being done now by Indigenous people in the legal community, the justice system is being reshaped to serve everyone better.

While recognition and celebration are central to this day, we also acknowledge the importance of working towards reconciliation. As an organization that traces its origins to 1749, the Society must also consider the enduring legacy of colonialism and its impact on the work we are engaged in. We are committed to learning, adapting, and improving our processes and structures to create a more equitable profession.

Today we celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day and recognize the diverse culture, history, and outstanding contributions made by Indigenous Peoples. Below is a list of resources related to National Indigenous Peoples Day:

The Society’s Truth and Reconciliation Working Group is dedicated to advising, monitoring and supporting Council in their work and governance on Truth & Reconciliation. Bookmark this webpage (http://nsbs.org/news-categories/society-news/trc/) to stay connected with the latest TRC Working Group updates and education sessions.