Mr. Paul Dewar (Ottawa Centre, NDP): Mr. Speaker, today
is the second anniversary of the government's historic
apology to first nations. Our country was deeply moved
by the authenticity of that nation to nation exchange.
However, an apology without action is empty rhetoric.
The promise of the government to sign on to the
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous
Peoples has yet to be honoured.
With the stroke of a pen, that could be changed today.
Nationally, we must take action on those rights to
improve the lives of first nations, Inuit, and
aboriginal peoples. Here, on Algonquin territory,
we must join the call for the establishment of a national
aboriginal centre on Ottawa's Victoria Island, just
meters away from this place. This is a joint vision by
elder William Commanda and the renowned architect
Reconciliation requires acknowledgment.
Acknowledgment requires action.
We have acknowledged. Now it is time to act. Meegwetch.