Sioux Lookout, Lac Seul First Nation commemorate Indigenous Peoples Month
Jesse Bonello - Staff Writer
Sioux Lookout Mayor Doug Lawrance and Lac Seul First Nation Chief Derek Maud honoured and celebrated Indigenous Peoples Month during a ceremony on June 22.
The ceremony featured traditional drumming, which was led by Joe Wesley, followed by a proclamation that was read by Lawrance, declaring June as Indigenous Peoples Month.
“National Indigenous Peoples Month provides an opportunity to acknowledge the unique achievements of First Nations, Metis and Inuit in fields as diverse as agriculture, business and the arts. National Indigenous Peoples Month gives many people the chance to learn more about Aboriginal people and their contributions towards the country’s developments and progress. First Nations, Metis and Inuit people have the opportunity to showcase their cultures and achievements throughout Canada,” said Lawrance.
“I, Doug Lawrance, Mayor of the Municipality of Sioux Lookout, do hereby proclaim June as Indigenous Peoples Month and encourage all residents to celebrate together in recognition of the diversity with which our Indigenous people contribute to Sioux Lookout,” he continued. Chief Maud shared his appreciation for the proclamation during the ceremony.
“I know it’s troubling times, especially with what’s going on with COVID-19, but events like this should be celebrated by everyone. It’s unfortunate that our group is small this morning, but I think the message is clear that we still want to keep our people safe any way we can. I really appreciate Sioux Lookout proclaiming June Indigenous Peoples Month,” said Maud.
The Municipality of Sioux Lookout will be raising a Lac Seul First Nation flag at the Travel Information Centre later this week to further acknowledge June as National Indigenous
Minister of Indigenous Affairs Greg Rickford commemorated National Indigenous Peoples Day, which took place on June 21, by issuing the following statement on June 21, “Today is National Indigenous Peoples Day, a day to celebrate the unique heritage, cultural diversity and rich traditions of the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples in Ontario. It is also a day to recognize the contributions of Indigenous Peoples to our province, and the need to continue working together as partners based on mutual respect and the recognition of rights.
“In place of in-person festivities this year, our government encourages every Ontarian to participate in one of the many virtual celebrations taking place across the province. We also invite everyone to take a moment and reflect on the Indigenous experience, as well as the systemic barriers that continue to impact Indigenous peoples in our society today.
“We all have a role to play in building a more inclusive Ontario, and we must continue to work together to eliminate hate, racism and discrimination in all its forms,” said Rickford.