The Canadian Army earlier today hosted a commemorative event at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa, as part of Indigenous Awareness Week.
The theme of the event “Dancing in Unison” considers the past while looking to the future, where all, whether Indigenous or non-Indigenous, can build a better society and a better Canada. Living in a diverse country gives the opportunity to learn about different cultures and traditions in improving inclusion for everyone.
At the event, Brigadier-General Jocelyn Paul gave the keynote address, and Lieutenant-General Paul Wynnyk, Commander, Canadian Army and Defence Team Champion for Indigenous Peoples also spoke.
“Diversity is a source of strength and flexibility, and plays a pivotal role in ensuring that we stand strong, proud, and ready to serve Canadians and meet ever more complex challenges at home and abroad,” said LGen Wynnyk.
Other activities at the event include Inuit throat singing, drum dancing, a display of artifacts, demonstrations of traditional artisanry, and the opportunity to sample Indigenous foods.
During the week, members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and the Department of National Defence (DND) are hosting similar events at various locations across Canada.
The CAF supports many initiatives designed to help the military population reflect the diversity of Canada’s population, including Indigenous youth development programs and outreach efforts in communities across Canada. Indigenous people make up about 2.7 per cent of the military and 3.1 per cent of the civilian Defence Team populations.
“I am proud to celebrate the culture and history of the Indigenous peoples and to recognize the great contributions they have made to the CAF and the DND,” said LGen Wynnyk.