The Canadian Tribute to Human Rights

The Official Dedication of the Aboriginal Languages Plaques

The dedication of the first 24 Aboriginal languages plaques at the Human Rights Monument on Nov. 7, 1992

The dedication of the first 24 carved granite plaques (of a final 73) took place at the Human Rights Monument. Each of these plaques carries in the languages of Aboriginal Peoples of Canada, the expression of “Equality” “Dignity” and “Rights.” The granite plaques are found in the core of the monumental sculpture, called the “House of Canada.”

The Amikoonsuk Singers with drumming brought the audience to attention. Claudette Command Coté, grand-daughter of Elder Chief William Commanda of the Kitigan Zibi Algonquin people, led with an invocation to the Great Spirit to bless the event. Elder Ernest Benedict of the Akwesasne Mohawk people solemnly performed a sweetgrass ceremonial blessing of each plaque.

The ceremony over, the celebration moved inside City Hall. A joyful pow wow - First Nations dancers from the Odawa Friendship Centre, singing, stimulating speeches and a presentation of the arts of local First Nations people - rounded out the celebration.

A further element in this major presentation of First Nations’ cultural expression was the premier showing by the CRB Foundation of their television program episode telling of the “The Peacemaker” ceremony of the Mohawk people. This TV episode formed part of the CRB Foundation’s series of “Heritage Minutes” of Canada’s history. The speaker was Michael Doxtater from the Six Nations Centre in Ohsweken, Ontario.

The following images are from the dedication event.

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