IMAGINE A CANADA CEREMONY

Remarks by
The Honourable Janice Filmon, C.M., O.M.
Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba

Fort Gibraltar
Wednesday, May 1, 2019- 4:30 p.m.

Elders, educators, students and lifelong learners – thank you for the opportunity to join you in imagining a Canada.

We are gathered on Treaty One land, on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe and the homeland of the Metis people.

We’ve come together tonight in a place that was once a gathering point for Scottish, English and French Canadian fur traders and their Metis and First Nations colleagues and suppliers.

Here, on the banks of the Red River, we can see the roots of a community where people of diverse cultures and histories could live together, co-operate and share.

So what a fitting place this is for tonight’s Imagine a Canada Feast.

I have been moved and inspired by my encounters with both the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and the Imagine a Canada program.

I have seen the importance of preserving and passing on the stories of loss and resilience maintained by the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.

I have seen, in the young people involved in the Imagine a Canada program, the power of hope and imagination to lead us to a better future.

A few years ago, after an earlier event with the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, I organized a gathering with friends, staff and volunteers from my office to hear from a number of people who are heavily involved in community healing and reconciliation.

At this event, we were challenged to use our imaginations to think of what Canada could be. We were challenged to imagine what a country committed to reconciliation, understanding and acceptance would look like.

It was a powerful experience – especially for a group of people who had grown up before the reality of residential schools was mentioned in schools or on the news.

As young people growing up in a Canada that is working to bring all of its history into the open, you have the ability to see farther. You will have the opportunity to bring your visions to life in the Canada of the future.

The imagination you’ve shown in your artwork, writing or other creative projects will serve you well in the years to come.

It will be up to your generation to see new opportunities and new ways of living and to develop ways of bringing them about for the benefit of all Canadians. That will take hard work and continued willingness to accept a challenge and get involved.

I congratulate you on the success that has brought you to this special gathering and wish you an inspiring and energizing day of learning tomorrow. May this experience help you walk with greater confidence and courage on a path of truth and reconciliation.

Thank you. Merci. Meegwich.