Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Good morning. Mr. Speaker, Monday is Heritage Day. People from across Canada have chosen February 17th to celebrate our historical and cultural foundation, and to reflect upon how we can pass along our heritage to future generations.
The Heritage Canada Foundation co-ordinates Heritage Day activities across Canada. Nationally, this year's theme centres around the 500th anniversary of the landing of John Cabot in Newfoundland.
In the Northwest Territories, most local organizations have selected themes and activities which are more appropriate to their communities. For instance, the Northern Life Museum in Fort Smith is showing several exhibits, including one on noted opthamologist, Dr. Elizabeth Cass, who is well-known to an older generation of northerners.
The Fort Simpson Historical Society is using Heritage Day to promote its fund-raising efforts to purchase and preserve the McPherson House, which is an historical property. The Heritage Canada Foundation will soon feature the society's efforts in a forthcoming edition of its national magazine.
The Norman Wells Historical Centre is working with schools in the Sahtu region to promote an awareness of heritage. Its parent organization, the Norman Wells Historical Society, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, beginning with Heritage Day.
On Sunday, the museum in Iqaluit will be showing films on traditional Inuit life.
In Baker Lake, Heritage Day finds the community well along in its plans to have a new museum open to the public this summer.
The City of Yellowknife Heritage Committee is promoting some of its activities, including the announcement of an annual Heritage Award in its monthly newsletter.
Mr. Speaker, our ties to our culture and heritage are strong here in the North. These ties give us a sense of identity and community and help to give us confidence in our future. Heritage Day gives us all an opportunity to look to our past to help us meet the challenges of the future. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.