Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in vintage form as he took part Tuesday in a ceremony marking the 20th annual National Aboriginal Day.
Trudeau attended a sunrise ritual on the shore of the Ottawa River wearing moccasins and a buckskin jacket that his office said was owned by his father, the late Pierre Elliott Trudeau.
The former prime minister was known for donning buckskin as he ventured out in his younger years on canoeing expeditions in Canada’s far north.
As the sun rose beyond a bridge linking Quebec and Ontario, Justin Trudeau was bathed with a ceremonial smoke as part of a smudging ceremony before paddling beneath the Parliament buildings in a 10-metre cargo canoe.
The federal government began observing National Aborginal Day on June 21 two decades ago.
In 2008, then prime minister Stephen Harper apologized on behalf of the government for the multi-generational upheaval caused by residential schools, which were designed to assimilate aboriginal youth into Canadian society.
The last residential school closed in 1996.
(The Canadian Press)