Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

May 24, 2013 13:15 ET

Closing Military Ceremony for Aboriginal Awareness Week 2013

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 24, 2013) - Today, the Canadian Armed Forces hosted the closing ceremony for Aboriginal Awareness Week at the Cartier Square Drill Hall in Canada's capital.

"Aboriginal Awareness Week provides an important opportunity to increase awareness of Aboriginal Peoples contributions to the defence and protection of Canada, to the Canadian Armed Forces and to Canadian society," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. "For over two hundred years Aboriginal Peoples' have helped to protect our territory."

Aboriginal Awareness Week 2013 (May 21-24) celebrated the theme The Past Returning. Focussing on awareness of Aboriginal heritage, customs and traditions, it provided Canadians with the opportunity to learn about Aboriginal Peoples who have a proud tradition of service in the Canadian military.

"This year's theme invited us to also celebrate the return to the teachings, traditions and cultural contributions of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada," said Lieutenant-General Peter Devlin, Commander of the Canadian Army and National Defence Champion for Aboriginal Peoples. "The concepts of respect and sharing that form the foundation of the Aboriginal way of life are built around these teachings and traditions, and we can learn much from them. We have greatly benefited from Aboriginal Peoples' many contributions and achievements over the years. They were valued comrades during the War of 1812, in South Africa during the Boer War, during the First and Second World War, the Korean War, the Gulf War and continue to be so during our operations Afghanistan."

Introduced in 1992, Aboriginal Awareness Week was initially intended to increase awareness of Aboriginal Peoples within Canadian society and the Public Service. It has since evolved into a week honouring Aboriginal cultures throughout Canada, including First Nations, Inuit and Métis.

To obtain more information on Aboriginal Awareness week please access the following link: http://www.pc.gc.ca/agen/aa/index.aspx

To obtain more information on Aboriginal Peoples in the Canadian Armed Forces please access the following link: http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/news-nouvelles/news-nouvelles-eng.asp?id=4797

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