Deputy premier urges kindness and caring on Canada Day
Iqaluit celebrations include parade, concert and and chili handout by the fire department
Rainfall and 7 C temperatures did not stop Nunavummiut, including commissioner Eva Aariak, deputy premier Pamela Gross and Sen. Dennis Patterson from attending Canada Day festivities in Iqaluit Saturday.
“Nunavut holds a special place in the fabric of our nation,” Gross said during a ceremony held in a tent set up in the Nakasuk Elementary School parking lot.
“Let us acknowledge Inuit societal values that are a testament to our wisdom, resilience and profound connection to the land, animals and environment. But most of all, to each other.”
Gross made her comments just before the start of a citizenship ceremony. She recognized people who became Canadian citizens on the day and encouraged Iqalummiut to be kind to each other and to be caring.
“May the spirit of this day inspire us to be compassionate, respectful and inclusive citizens,” Gross added.
Canada Day marks the country’s 156th anniversary since Confederation in 1867 created a new nation.
In Iqaluit, residents celebrated the day with events including a parade beginning at the AWG arena, a concert featuring performers such as violinist Tristan Alexander and cellist Rannva Simonsen, and a chili handout by the city’s fire department.
Patterson acknowledged that some people have found it hard to celebrate Canada Day in recent years — especially since most Canadians began to understand the full impact of the country’s residential schools program on Indigenous peoples.
While Patterson said, “we still have work to do on the path to reconciliation” and to improve the lives of Nunavummiut, he added, “I still believe we live in the very best country in the world.”