Mi’kmaq communities throughout the province are celebrating National Aboriginal Day today, June 21. Premier Darrell Dexter, who is also Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, is encouraging all Nova Scotians to take part in National Aboriginal Day activities to help celebrate and recognize the Mi’kmaq’s unique history and culture, and contributions to the province. “The Mi’kmaq are the original inhabitants of Nova Scotia and contribute greatly to it. We share a common interest in enhancing Nova Scotia’s economy and making life better for Nova Scotia families,” said Premier Dexter. “We also share an interest in celebrating our culture and heritage, and conserving our resources. I hope that all Nova Scotians will take the opportunity to recognize this important day, and in particular, the Baptism of Grand Chief Membertou’s 400th anniversary celebrations scheduled to take place June 24-27 throughout the province.” National Aboriginal Day is an opportunity for Canadians to show their respect for the Aboriginal community and learn more about the rich heritage of Canada’s First Nations people. It was first proclaimed in 1996 by former Gov. Gen. Romeo LeBlanc. It is held on the summer solstice, the longest day of the year and the first day of summer. Traditionally, summer solstice is the day on which many aboriginal communities celebrate their cultural and spiritual beliefs. Visit www.membertou400.com for information on Membertou 400 events and www.aincinac.gc.ca to learn more about National Aboriginal Day.