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Our Indigenous cultural heritage has sustained us since time immemorial

By Cody Groat      

And it will continue to do so if and when it receives the attention that it deserves.

Demonstrators, pictured in Ottawa on Feb. 24, 2020, supporting the Wetʼsuwetʼen nation against the building of the Costal Gasoline pipeline through their traditional territory. Indigenous peoples have both the knowledge and an obligation to be the stewards of our cultural heritage, passed down from our ancestors to be shared with future generations,' writes Coady Groat. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

VANCOUVER—Indigenous heritage has been the focus of significant media attention over the past few years. Both the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (2015) and the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (2019) have demonstrated how the Canadian state has engaged in systematic acts of “cultural genocide.” Further, controversy regarding statues of Sir John A. Macdonald, Edward Cornwallis, Samuel de Champlain (and many others) have called attention to the role of these individuals in denying Indigenous political, social, and cultural autonomy. It is important that we call attention to these themes and that we make sure to teach them to future generations. That being said, we must also remember to ‘teach Indigenous brilliance and success,’ especially as it relates to our cultural heritage.

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