FREDERICTON (CNB) – The following message was released today by Premier David Alward, minister responsible for the Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat, in recognition of National Aboriginal Day:

Tuesday, June 21, is National Aboriginal Day all across Canada. It is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the significant contributions that First Nations have made in the development of our province and our country. This day is also significant because many generations of First Nations people have celebrated their rich culture and heritage during the summer solstice, which also occurs on June 21.

National Aboriginal Day is not only for celebration but for learning as well. Various activities planned across the country throughout the day will provide many learning opportunities with the aim of fostering a greater spirit of co-operation and understanding of Aboriginal traditions through education and awareness.

Celebrating the culture, values and customs of our First Nations allows us to understand and respect each other meaningfully, and the Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat will continue to build a strong relationship with First Nations through collaboration and mutual respect. I warmly urge all New Brunswickers to participate in the activities planned for National Aboriginal Day.