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June 21 is National Aboriginal Day, a day for all Canadians to celebrate the cultures and contributions to Canada of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. This year's theme is "Celebrating Diversity."
National Aboriginal Day was proclaimed in 1996 by former Governor General Roméo A. LeBlanc. Today National Aboriginal Day is part of the annual nation-wide Celebrate Canada! festivities held from June 21 to July 1. They begin with National Aboriginal Day, are followed by St-Jean Baptiste Day, Canadian Multiculturalism Day and concludes with Canada Day.
Setting aside a day for Aboriginal Peoples is part of the wider recognition of Aboriginal Peoples' important place within the fabric of Canada and their ongoing contributions as First Peoples. As Governor General Adrienne Clarkson said: "It is an opportunity for all of us to celebrate our respect and admiration for First Nations, for Inuit, for Métis — for the past, the present and the future."
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