By Glenn Nolan, VP Government Relations
June 21 was National Indigenous Peoples Day. It was widely celebrated with events that recognize the contributions and diverse cultures of Indigenous people across the country.
The idea for a day of solidarity for all First Nation people in Canada was initiated thirty-six years ago, in 1982 by the National Indian Brotherhood (now Assembly of First Nations) with the first Aboriginal Day held in 1996 on the summer solstice (June 21). The change to incorporate “Indigenous” into the title was made last year to be consistent with terminology used
by the United Nations.
At Noront, one of our goals is to create awareness about the culture and knowledge that each community brings to a project, so that our staff can fully understand the important relationship we have with the first people of the north. The way we listen to our community partners is an example of how we do this, and one of the reasons why we invite Elders to conduct ceremonies before we begin work on an exploration program.
Staff at each of our locations participated in local National Indigenous Peoples Day activities. We were represented at a sunrise ceremony held at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto. It included a smudge, tobacco pipe, drumming, drinking water and eating strawberries. Thunder Bay staff attended the Mount McKay (Anemki Wajiw) Pow Wow on Fort William First Nation Territory. Camp staff attended Pow Wows in Webequie and Sioux Lookout. Employees also took time during the daily toolbox meeting to reflect on the historical significance of the day and were invited to recognize the day in their own way.
We value the relationships we have with our Indigenous partners. We continue to build on the important values of sincerity, respect, honesty and cooperation to ensure our relationships remain strong and healthy today, and long into the future.