OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 20, 2013) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, Q.C., Associate Minister of National Defence and Member of Parliament for Delta-Richmond East, today issued the following statement on the occasion of Aboriginal Awareness Week (May 21-24, 2013):
"Aboriginal Awareness Week provides an important opportunity to increase Canadians' awareness of Aboriginal peoples' contribution to the Canadian public service. During this annual celebration of Aboriginal culture, we take time to salute all Aboriginal peoples who serve or have served in the Canadian Armed Forces. We also recognize the contributions of Aboriginal peoples who support Canada's military as civilians within the Department of National Defence.
First Nations, Inuit and Métis personnel have a proud history within the Canadian Armed Forces, serving amongst the first battles on what is now Canadian territory. Aboriginal peoples' traditions and values contribute greatly to our nation's historical and cultural diversity.
In recognition of the importance of Canada's Aboriginal population, the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces have numerous programs aimed at reaching out to Aboriginal peoples, including youth development and employment programs, which combine Aboriginal teachings with military training. We also regularly engage with community leaders to discuss Canadian Armed Forces developments and issues that relate to Aboriginal peoples.
Our government will continue to uphold the proud history of First Nations, Inuit and Métis members and welcome new Aboriginal members into our ranks. We wish to sincerely thank all Aboriginal Canadian Armed Forces and Department of National Defence personnel for the contributions and sacrifices they have made for our nation. "
To obtain more information on Aboriginal Awareness Week please access the following links: