A message from Dr. Evan Adams, FNHA Chief Medical Officer
Today, August 9, is International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, and – like Canada’s Indigenous People’s Day, on June 21 – it’s also a time for all Indigenous (and non-Indigenous!) peoples to celebrate the beautiful, powerful and magical cultures and heritages of Indigenous peoples. This time around the globe, not just across our country! As I said in June, I am so proud to be an Indigenous person. We have so much to honour and be proud of. The timeless wisdom and formidable beauty of our teachings – our inheritance from our ancestors – that show us how to view the world, how to live, and how to be in relationship with one another. Our ability to find humour and joy despite the circumstances. Our incredible, intergenerational resilience, strength and determination to survive and to thrive. Despite all that has been done and is still being done, because of our cultures, our teachings, and our territories, we are still here – still resisting, reclaiming, reframing, rebuilding. I hope this is something we do regularly on our own, but on International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, please join me in taking the time to reflect on the hard work of our ancestors and past and present leaders, on whose shoulders we stand as we carry on our vision for a healthy, vibrant, self-determined future. For our allies and non-Indigenous people who want to know more, I encourage you to spend time today on increasing your understanding of the Indigenous people in your country. For example, in Canada, have you ever read up on the wartime contributions and sacrifices made by Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit and Métis) – veterans? Check out Veteran Affairs Canada’s social media and web channels, which feature Indigenous veterans’ stories. Take a look at Indspire’s website, where you can read about inspirational Indigenous achievers in all areas of life – including medicine, the arts, sports, politics, law, business! Or read up on what the United Nations is saying about Indigenous peoples in the world! And of course, let’s also take the time to get out and have fun being our fabulous, joyful, Indigenous selves! We have much to celebrate and no shortage of ways to do so. There are all kinds of Indigenous celebrations, activities and events going on around the world, including powwows, art exhibits and movies. (Have you seen the recently released film, “Kayak to Klemtu”? I’m in it!) It’s super important for our health and wellness to have fun and participate in cultural activities. (If you can’t dance, drum! If you can’t drum, hum!) Go to at least one of them – doctor’s orders! Ee mutl!Yours in Health, Wellness & Pride, Dr. Evan Adams, FNHA CMO
About International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples
International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, August 9, is a day to promote and help protect the rights of the world’s Indigenous population. This event also recognizes the achievements and contributions that Indigenous people make to improve world issues such as environmental protection. It was first pronounced by the General Assembly of the United Nations in December 1994, marking the day of the first meeting of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, in 1982.
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