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Aboriginal Yukoners play a central role in our communities. By making National Aboriginal Day, June 21st, a paid statutory holiday, we can ensure that all Yukoners can celebrate the contributions of Aboriginal cultures to our society. National Aboriginal Day should be a statutory holiday in Yukon.
Approximately one in four Yukoners identifies as being First Nations, Métis or Inuit. Yukon First Nation governments already give their employees a paid day off on June 21st, but no other Yukon workers are formally given the opportunity to celebrate Aboriginal cultures on National Aboriginal Day.
We have received overwhelming support for this proposal from the chiefs of Yukon’s First Nations as well as the president of the Métis Association of Yukon, the Grand Chief of the Council of Yukon First Nations, and the Regional Chief of the Assembly of First Nations.
Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador both lead Canada with seven provincial statutory holidays. With only four territorial statutory holidays, Yukon would not be an outlier in adding National Aboriginal Day to its calendar, and the Northwest Territories already recognize National Aboriginal Day as a paid statutory holiday.