NIPISSING FIRST NATION – Today, the Anishinabek Nation and its 43 member First Nations are celebrating the National Day of Healing and Reconciliation with a “new found optimism for true reconciliation with Canada.”

“By marking the National Day of Healing and Reconciliation, we can step forward and renew our commitment to wellness as individuals and as a Nation,” said Grand Council Chief John Beaucage, leader of the Anishinabek Nation. “As the health of our Nation strengthens, so does our Nation as a whole.”

Grand Council Chief Beaucage is optimistic that true reconciliation between Canada’s First Peoples and mainstream society is within reach. He points to the establishment of a truth and reconciliation commission under Canada’s recent residential school settlement as a means toward mutual understanding.

“I look forward to the establishment of a truth and reconciliation commission to examine and document the long and difficult journey of our residential school survivors,” said Grand Council Chief Beaucage. “Very soon Canadians will be able to learn more about this tragedy in Canada’s history and truly gain a better understanding of the profound effects that this has had on our society and culture.”

Beaucage cites the current unrest in the different parts of the country as effects left over from residential schools as well as colonialism of the 20th century.

Grand Council Chief Beaucage provides greetings and best wishes to all those communities celebrating the National Day of Healing and Reconciliation across Anishinabek Nation territory and across Canada.

The National Day of Healing and Reconciliation is a movement of people committed to moving forward collectively within our families, communities and across Canada for the purposes of healing and reconciliation. The National Day is celebrated on May 26th of each year.

It is a primary objective of the National Day to educate all Canadians about our collective history of government policies which impacted Aboriginal communities including Canada’s tragic and evil residential school policy.

The Anishinabek Nation incorporated the Union of Ontario Indians as its secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 43 member First Nations across Ontario. The UOI is the oldest political organization in Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires,which existed long before European contact.