Liberals say they will change Dene MP's bill celebrating Indigenous People
August 16th, 2018 - 11:33am
On Wednesday, the Liberals revealed plans to support NDP MP Georgina Jolibois' Private Member's Bill to establish a National Indigenous People's Day. Yet, it is unclear if the Liberals plan to change the intention of Jolibois' bill after a government official told the media that they are considering amendments.
"Indigenous leaders have spent years fighting for a statutory holiday on June 21st, the summer solstice, which is a culturally important day for many Indigenous peoples," said Jolibois who is a Dene woman. "You'd think the government would want to talk with us about this but I haven't gotten a phone call from anyone."
Another NDP MP, Murray Rankin has been working with residential schools survivors to establish a national day to remember and honour those who were forced to attend residential schools in Canada, reflecting a recommendation by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Media reports show the government is now considering establishing a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
"Quite frankly, I'm concerned that the Liberals will play politics with Indigenous history and culture," said Jolibois. "Instead of discarding the work that's already been done by Indigenous peoples, I urge the Liberals to work with us on this bill."