Manitoba Day

Ministerial Statement by the Honourable Eric Robinson on behalf of the Honourable Flor Marcelino

Madame Deputy Speaker, I have a statement for the House on behalf of the Minister of Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Multiculturalism.

Today, May 12 is Manitoba Day. It was 140 years ago that The Manitoba Act received Royal Assent in 1870, officially creating our province as part of Canada.

On May 12, 1966 Manitoba’s official flag was dedicated and unfurled for the first time and, in 1986, that day became Manitoba Day in recognition of its importance in the history of the province.

So today, across this great province, Manitobans are attending celebrations and events to mark this significant anniversary.

One example is the Treaty Day celebrations held in this chamber. This morning the Premier signed a proclamation highlighting the importance of the Treaty Relationship to the co-existence of all people in Manitoba.

The proclamation reads as follows:

WHEREAS the Constitution Act of Canada, 1982 Section 35 (1) provides that existing "Aboriginal and Treaty Rights are hereby recognized and affirmed": and

WHEREAS the numbered Treaties in Manitoba included Treaties 1,2, 3, 4, 5,6 and 10 that were signed between the First Nations and the Crown in right of Canada; and

WHEREAS the Government of Manitoba recognizes that the Treaty Relationship is a fundamental aspect of life in Manitoba; and

WHEREAS the Government of Manitoba affirms that “We Are All Treaty People”; and

WHEREAS the Government of Manitoba, The Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba, the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, and The Government of Canada have planned this event to improve the understanding Treaties and the Treaty Relationship within the Province of Manitoba; and

NOW THEREFORE LET IT BE KNOWN THAT I, GREG SELINGER, Premier of Manitoba, do hereby proclaim Wednesday May 12, 2010 as "TREATY DAY AT THE MANITOBA LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY"

And commend its thoughtful observance to all citizens of our province.

Manitoba has always been, and remains, a land of opportunity filled collectively by the First Peoples and the many peoples and cultures that followed. It is the birthplace of the Métis nation and a model of successful immigration policy emulated across Canada.

There are over 300 ethnocultural organizations and over 100 different languages spoken across the province. Manitoba's rich cultural diversity continues to be one of our greatest strengths as we move forward together as Manitobans.

There are many exciting activities and initiatives happening to celebrate Manitoba’s birthday and our rich cultural traditions continuing through May and the rest of the year. Manitoba Homecoming 2010 is a yearlong experience bringing former and current Manitobans, visitors, friends and families together for events, festival and an all around great celebrations.

As we celebrate, we take pride in the fact that Manitoba is home to people from cultures across the globe. Our multicultural society gives our province and our country an excitement and vibrancy like no other place in the world.

I encourage all members of this House, and all Manitobans, to explore our province, enjoy the many events and take time to discover more about our collective history, and how our future is being shaped by our great people and cultures.

Thank you, and enjoy Manitoba Day!