2007National Day of Action: Dion Calls for Justice, Fairness and Hope for Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples
June 29, 2007
OTTAWA – The Conservative government must act now to achieve justice, fairness and hope for Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples, Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion said today while attending the National Day of Action ceremony on Victoria Island with Assembly of First Nations Grand Chief Phil Fontaine.
“I am here today, in part, because I share the frustration of Aboriginal Peoples over the hardships they have been facing for much too long. But I am here also because I have faith in the future,” said Mr. Dion.“Our common belief – that we are the stewards of life on our planet – is at the core of my vision – and of the Liberal plan – for a richer, fairer and greener Canada, today and for the generations to come. This is a vision of hope for Aboriginal Peoples, and for all Canadians.”
Mr. Dion called on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to apologize to Residential School victims and their families, adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, deliver on the Kelowna Accord and follow through on a new, independent process to settle land claims.
Liberal Indian Affairs Critic Anita Neville joined Mr. Dion in calling on the government to take action for Aboriginal Canadians.
“The Conservatives must listen to today’s call from Aboriginal Peoples to address the issues that confront them, so that all Canadians can all move forward together and experience the greatness this country has to offer to everyone,” she said.
Mr. Dion also said the Liberal Opposition is committed to helping build a successful Canada, and he stressed the fact that First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples are essential to that success.
“We borrowed the land from our children and grandchildren. We owe it to them to return it in better shape than it was when we took custody of it. We cannot do so as long as Aboriginal Peoples continue to be left behind, and we won’t,” said Mr. Dion.
“Together we will build a brighter future. Together, we will make poverty history for Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples.”
Click here for the full text of mr. Dion’s speech.