President Barnard acknowledges significance of National Aboriginal Day
National Aboriginal Day is a time for all of us to celebrate the Indigenous peoples of Canada – the rich history, cultures and traditions of First Nation, Métis and Inuit peoples. Held annually on June 21, it is also a day to recognize the many achievements of the Indigenous community and the important contributions its members have made to this country.
The University of Manitoba is proud to honour and celebrate the rich diversity and accomplishments of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples. We are especially proud of the Indigenous community at U of M, including over 2,000 Indigenous students, faculty members and staff along with thousands of alumni – and we are thankful for the many gifts they bring.
In addition to being a time of celebration, National Aboriginal Day is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on our University’s commitment to Indigenous Achievement, and to incorporating Indigenous perspectives throughout our institution. Through the sharing of Indigenous knowledge, cultures and traditions across our campuses, we can create a richer learning environment and foster greater understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous community members – for both current and future generations.
Recently, I had the privilege of attending the Truth and Reconciliation Commission closing events in Ottawa, including the passing of the Sacred Trust to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba. The events were deeply meaningful to me and underlined the message that we all have a role to play in reconciliation and in developing a new understanding of our shared past and future.
I hope that you will be able to join in some of the U of M National Aboriginal Day activities taking place today at both our Fort Garry and Bannatyne campuses. Details on the events can be found at Indigenous Connect. In addition to these and other community activities today, a city-wide celebration will be taking place at The Forks this Saturday, June 20.
President and Vice-Chancellor
David T. Barnard