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News Release


Display Showcases Outstanding Aboriginal Achievements

Ottawa, March 28, 2003 - The Library and Archives of Canada invites everyone to visit a new display showcasing a selection of the published works of Aboriginal peoples, in celebration and recognition of their fundamental contribution to our heritage. The launch of the display was held today during a ceremony, at the Library and Archives, which included dignitaries from the Aboriginal community and past recipients of the National Aboriginal Achievement Awards.

Many of the individuals whose work has been selected for the display are recipients of the prestigious National Aboriginal Achievement Award. The Award, established in conjunction with the United Nations International Decade of the World's Indigenous Peoples in 1993 by John Kim Bell, Founder and President of the National Aboriginal Foundation, encourages and celebrates excellence in the Aboriginal community. Past recipients of the award include performing artist Susan Aglukark, educator Dr. Howard Adams, historian Dr. Olive Dickason, artist Bill Reid, and author and playwright Tomson Highway.

This display at the Library and Archives of Canada marks the first high-profile initiative of the Aboriginal Resources and Services program under recently appointed Coordinator Deborah Pelletier, a Métis from Saskatchewan.

"The works in this display exemplify the depth of talent, knowledge and skills in our communities. I'm honoured and proud to showcase these individuals who are just a few of many outstanding Aboriginal leaders in their respective fields. This display marks the beginning of a new journey for the Library and Archives of Canada," said Pelletier.

In conjunction with the opening of this display, representatives from across Canada such as librarians, specialists, technicians, authors, archivists and other stakeholders are meeting for a two-day consultation. The goal of this initial consultation is to begin a dialogue concerning the information needs of Aboriginal communities and the services that are available to them.

The Aboriginal Resources and Services program was established to develop, promote and facilitate access to Aboriginal resources within Canada, both through the new Library and Archives of Canada and in partnership with Aboriginal communities, associations, governments, language and cultural centres, libraries and resource centres.

The display at the Library and Archives of Canada will be open to the public until June 9, 2003 at 395 Wellington Street. Admission is free. Also highlighted along with this showcase of published works, is the existing National Archives' exhibit Where Are the Children? Healing the Legacy of the Residential Schools, which raises awareness of the effects of the residential school system on First Nations, Métis and Inuit Children who attended the schools.

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Deborah Pelletier, Coordinator
Aboriginal Resources and Services
Library and Archives of Canada


Pauline M. Portelance
Media Relations
Library and Archives of Canada