Mr. Speaker, on this National Aboriginal Day, the Bloc Québécois and I want to pay homage to the Métis, first nations, and Inuit peoples. This is also a day when my thoughts turn to my own Abenaki roots.
The indigenous peoples did not need Quebec, but Quebec certainly needed them. Our debt to them is immeasurable. From Notakwanon to Waswanipi, their presence defined and enabled our own. Our infinite gratitude for everything our indigenous brothers and sisters have done for us was humbly embodied in the peace of the braves.
Can the same be said of Ottawa when indigenous languages are not even respected here in the House? When communities are struggling with catastrophic rates of violence and suicide, when children still do not have access to safe drinking water or equitable education, and when women are still discriminated against, we certainly have to wonder.
Today is also an opportunity to remember everything we owe to indigenous peoples and to demand that the government follow through on everything that still needs to be done now.
Thank you. Tshinashkumitin. Meegwetch.