Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

May 22, 2012 11:00 ET

Minister of National Defence Statement on the Occasion of Aboriginal Awareness Week

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 22, 2012) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, today issued the following statement on the occasion of Aboriginal Awareness Week (May 22-25, 2012):

"Aboriginal Peoples have a proud history and tradition of service in Canada's military forces. On this 20th anniversary of Aboriginal Awareness Week, under the theme: Looking Back, Moving Forward, the Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces take pride in the cultural diversity, traditions and values of our First Nations, Inuit and Metis personnel. It is a week for us and for all Canadians to celebrate their contributions to Canada and to the Canadian Forces. And, it is a week to reflect upon our organizational culture.

The Department of National Defence and Canadian Forces are proud of their Aboriginal personnel and of their numerous Aboriginal youth development programs. The Defence Team regularly engages First Nations, Inuit and Metis community leaders to discuss Canadian Forces developments related to Aboriginals, career opportunities, and benefits and Canadian Forces youth employment programs that combine Aboriginal teachings with military training, as well as local community outreach initiatives.

Moving forward, the Defence Team will continue to be agile and adapt to the rapidly changing needs of Canada's younger Aboriginal demographic. We will build upon our excellent relationship with First Nations, Inuit and Metis leaders and uphold the proud history of our Aboriginal members. I salute all Aboriginal members of the Canadian Forces for their service and sacrifices for our great country."

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