Across the country, ceremonies were held Tuesday to mark National Indigenous Peoples Day, offering a chance to celebrate the cultures and contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Metis people in Canada.
People gathered in-person after events took place virtually last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I am proud to be an Algonquin, because we have lived on this land for thousands of thousands and thousands of years," Chief Wendy Jocko of Pikwakanagan First Nation said at a ceremony in Ottawa at the Aboriginal Veterans Monument.
At another celebration in Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau highlighted the relationship Canada has historically had with Indigenous people.
"Indigenous peoples, who first let the settlers know how to survive through a very long winter," he said.
In Nova Scotia, hundreds gathered to honour the survivors who attended the Shubenacadie Residential School, the only one built in the Maritimes.
The march, along with the National Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations, comes as searches for unmarked graves continue on former residential school grounds.
"It was all punishment, like they were out to punish you," said Elmer Lewis, who spent 10 years at the Shubenacadie Residential School, starting when he was five.
The school was torn down in 1986 but Lewis organizes the annual walk to ensure the history of the Shubenacadie school is not forgotten.
"If you go riding by now, you wouldn’t know there was a residential school here," he said.
With files from CTV News
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