The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) actively participated this week in celebrating the culture of Canada’s Aboriginal community during Aboriginal Awareness Week.
Various CAF and Department of National Defence (DND) locations across Canada held commemorative events including an event held in Ottawa on May 26. Themed “Successes and Achievements,” the event showcased artifacts, demonstrations of traditional artistry and featured prominent speakers. The event encouraged the celebration of Indigenous Peoples role models.
“I cannot emphasize enough the importance of inclusivity and respect for all members within the Canadian Armed Forces. Working together enables us to stand strong, proud and ready to serve Canadians and meet ever more complex challenges at home and abroad. We are delighted to come together to celebrate the culture, history and contributions of the Indigenous Peoples of this land during Aboriginal Awareness Week,” said LGen. Marquis Hainse, Commander Canadian Army and Defence Team Champion for Aboriginal Peoples, in a press release.
The Defence Team actively engages Aboriginal Peoples in dialogue to highlight the important contributions of Aboriginal People to the DND and the CAF.
The CAF supports a number of initiatives to help the military community reflect the diversity of Canada’s population. Initiatives include Aboriginal youth development programs and outreach efforts in communities across Canada.
Currently, 2.5 per cent of military members and 3.1 per cent of the civilian Defence Team identify as Aboriginal Peoples.
This year marks the tenth consecutive year the Aboriginal Championship has been working with the Canadian Army. This role enhances and helps in highlighting the Defence Team’s commitment to employment equity within the organizational culture.
Featured image: Ms. Célina Cada-Matasawagon performs a traditional hoop dance at the launch of Aboriginal Awareness Week at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa on May 26, 2016. Photo credit: Corporal Chase Miller Canadian Forces Support Unit (Ottawa) – Imaging Services ©2016 DND-MDN, Canada SU11-2016-0603-006