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Canada’s Minister of National Defence Speaks Out Regarding National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

The Honourable Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement on the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation:

“Today marks the inaugural National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. It is a time for every Canadian to learn more about the painful history and legacy of Residential Schools and their impacts on First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. Today gives us an opportunity to renew our commitment to strengthening relationships with Indigenous Peoples and to learn how to be better partners in reconciliation.”

“Within the Defence team, members of the Canadian Armed Forces and Public Service employees alike are taking this time to reflect on the history and legacy of harmful colonial policies and practices. We recognize the pain and trauma these actions caused, and their ongoing impacts on survivors, their families and communities.

“As Minister of National Defence, I recognize the strength and resilience of Indigenous Peoples, and I am thankful for the rich diversity of skills, experiences, history, and perspectives that they bring to our Defence team. We are stronger and more effective thanks to Indigenous members who have served in and out of uniform. At every level, we are striving to build a more welcoming and inclusive culture for Indigenous Defence team members, and for all who serve.  

“We are wholly committed to moving forward on the path towards reconciliation with understanding, compassion, and a firm commitment to do better. Through recognition, reflection, and building respectful relationships, we can help build a more equitable future for Indigenous Peoples today, tomorrow, and every single day.”

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