FREDERICTON (CNB) - The following message was released today by Rick Brewer, minister responsible for the Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat, on the occasion of National Aboriginal Day:

National Aboriginal Day, recognized annually on June 21, is a day to for all to celebrate the unique heritage, cultures and contributions of First Nations people, not only in New Brunswick, but throughout Canada.

This occasion recognizes the significant contributions First Nations have made to the growth and establishment of this province and this country. It is an opportunity to honour the traditions and way of life of First Nations, which are such important parts of our national and provincial histories.

National Aboriginal Day provides a means of educating and sharing the unique heritage of Canada's first inhabitants and serves to strengthen the ties of co-operation among all Canadians.

As we move toward our goal of self-sufficiency, it is important to honour our past and celebrate our future.

Various activities will be held at First Nations communities throughout the province in honour of National Aboriginal Day. I invite all New Brunswickers to join in the festivities.