With National Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations underway across Canada today, Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River NDP MP Georgina Jolibois said she hopes 2018 is the last year before it becomes a statutory holiday.
Her private member's bill to do just that has been moving through the House of Commons since it received its first reading in October of 2017. The second reading for the bill occurred in March, and Jolibois expects the third and final reading to happen in September. If both the House of Commons and Senate pass the bill after the third reading, it will move to Royal Assent and become law.
“I still like to believe the Prime Minister when he speaks about the most important relationship to him is with the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples across Canada,” she said. “He speaks about improving relationships with Indigenous Peoples and Indigenous communities. Here I am, and we’ll see how he perceives it and proceeds with it.”
Initially called National Aboriginal Day when it was first celebrated in 1996, the holiday was renamed National Indigenous Peoples Day last year. Jolibois said she first learned of the event when she was living in Saskatoon, noting many local organizations came together to plan events to celebrate Indigenous languages and cultures. Over the years, she said the day has evolved into a step forward towards true reconciliation.
Jolibois said she will travel to La Loche today and will be stopping by at celebrations in her riding along the way.
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