PRIME MINISTER PART OF FIRST NATIONS PARADE: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations Days was celebrated in Tofino on Monday

PRIME MINISTER PART OF FIRST NATIONS PARADE: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations Days was celebrated in Tofino on Monday

Trudeaus enjoy some Tofino time

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took time out of his family vacation to participate in Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Days opening ceremonies

NORA O’MALLEY

The Westerly News

 

Enjoying a West Coast holiday with his family, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was back at work for a couple of hours on Monday, speaking to a Tofino crowd about his government’s commitment to First Nations.

“As some of you may know, I’ve made a priority for our government that we renew and rebuild the true nation to nation relationships,” Trudeau said to the crowd at the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations (TFN) Days opening ceremonies on Monday at the Tofino Village Green.

“But it can’t just be done between government and Indigenous peoples, all Canadians have to be involved,” he said. “I just want to thank all of you for being part of this celebration today, for connecting with Indigenous Canadians, for understanding and appreciating the cultural and for understanding that quite frankly as extraordinary a place as Tofino is, you only understand the full depth and spirit of this place when you walk side by side with the people that have lived here for a millennia. And that is really what we are celebrating today.”

TFN Days is a weeklong festival that brings families and communities together with a variety of different events and sport races throughout Tla-o-qui-aht Traditional Territory. Elected Chief Councillor Elmer Frank said it has been 15 years since the last TFN Days was held.

“About three weeks ago we sent [Trudeau’s] office a letter letting him know that Tla-o-qui-aht is reviving Tla-o-qui-aht Days. It was really important for us to send an invitation to our Prime Minister once we found out that he was going to be in our Tradition Territory,” said Frank.

On Monday morning, the day of the parade, Frank received a personal call from the prime minister.

“He called to say, ‘I’ll be there’,” Frank told The Westerly.

Justin and Sophie Grégoire Trudeau and their children Xavier, Ella-Grace, and Hadrien have been enjoying a summer beach holiday around the Tofino-Ucluelet area for the last week.

“I just want to say thank you all for everyone that has been coming up over the course of our vacation. You’ve been wonderfully friendly and not too… much. That’s appreciative as well. I’m so honoured to be able to be welcomed here by all of you and to share in this wonderful celebration,” said Trudeau.

Just Posted

An example of the forest land in the Port Renfrew and Fairy Creek area of Vancouver Island is shown on May 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne
Old-growth logging opponents launch hunger strike as arrests continue at Fairy Creek

Zain Haq says the hunger strikers will gather today at Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver

The City of Victoria is hoping to ring in the summer by celebrating local art and offering some distanced, live music to surprise people in parks, plazas and other public spaces. (Photo courtesy of the City of Victoria)
Live, pop-up concerts and local art being showcased in Victoria this summer

People will see surprise serenades at 16 locations throughout the summer

An example of the forest land in the Port Renfrew and Fairy Creek area of Vancouver Island is shown on May 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne
Old-growth logging opponents launch hunger strike as arrests continue at Fairy Creek

Zain Haq says the hunger strikers will gather today at Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver

Jada Benwell and Connor Larkey are the valedictorians of the 2021 graduating class at Parkland Secondary School. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Pandemic taught lessons in perseverance for North Saanich high schoolers

Parkland Secondary School to release 2021 grad ceremony video on June 25

The 14th annual Oak Bay Young Exceptional Star (YES) awards June 3. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay celebrates its Young Exceptional Stars with outdoor award ceremony

Nine young people recognized in 14th annual awards

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read