Innu gathering tent on Parliament Hill
Senator Audette hosted event with the Indigenous Leadership Initiative.
A celebration honouring the work of First Nations Guardians was held in a traditional Innu shaputuan gathering tent constructed on the lawn of Parliament Hill.
First Nations Guardians care for lands and waters across the country, and work to help sustain cultures and revitalize languages. Parliamentarians met with Guardians and Indigenous leaders on Wednesday evening to learn more about the programs that support Indigenous communities, cultures and economies.
“I’m so proud – this is the first time ever we have a shaputuan on Parliament Hill,” said Senator Michèle Audette, who hosted the event in partnership with the Indigenous Leadership Initiative.
Senator Audette, a recognized Indigenous leader from the Innu community of Uashat mak Mani-Utenam in Quebec, said her vision to have a shaputuan on Parliament Hill was part of a larger personal healing process in recognition that reconciliation is rooted in the land.
“Thousands of years of occupancy, knowledge, beauty, empowerment, language – everything is there. And it took me too long for me to understand that the land for me will be the healing,” she said. “We’re here and we’re here to stay.”
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Gary Anandasangaree; Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault; and Minister of Northern Affairs Dan Vandal also delivered remarks about the importance of Guardians.