In recognition of Aboriginal Awareness Week 2015

I also rise on behalf of the Liberal Party and the Official Opposition to pay tribute to Aboriginal Awareness Week. This week serves to honour the many cultures and languages of Canada’s First Nation communities. Aboriginal Awareness Week is a time to celebrate and reflect on the contributions of aboriginal Canadians to Canada.

Yukon First Nations have had an extraordinary impact on our development as a territory and have been leaders nationally in the development of self-government agreements. Recently we celebrated the 20th anniversary of self-governance and today 11 of Yukon’s First Nations have signed self-government agreements. These will form the cornerstone of our economic and social development for generations to come.

The cultural impact of aboriginal people is all around us and it is increasingly becoming a reason for why people visit the Yukon. Many cultural centres that have opened in the last decade are fitting tributes to stories and experiences of our First Nation communities.

In recognition of Aboriginal Awareness Week, I encourage all Yukoners to take a moment to recognize the impact Yukon First Nations have had on our culture, our society and political systems, both here in the Yukon and on a national level. We are very fortunate to live where we do, surrounded by so many distinct cultures.