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Politics Trudeau urges Canadians to fight Islamophobia in Eid remarks

Prime Minster Justin Trudeau speaks in Saskatoon on Aug. 31, 2017.

Liam Richards/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says now, more than ever, Canadians must stand together against racism and Islamophobia.

Trudeau made the comments in Saskatoon while delivering remarks recognizing the beginning of Eid al-Adha, a Muslim holiday.

"Whether we are in a big city or a small town, we must continue to stand together, united against racism, hatred and Islamophobia," Trudeau told the crowd.

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"This is just who we are as Canadians. We are there for each other. We stand up for each other."

Trudeau thanked those gathered for their interfaith work and community building, calling it truly important.

The prime minister also met Friday with the Saskatoon Tribal Council, which delivers social programs and services to seven First Nations within a 200-kilometre radius of Saskatoon.

Trudeau announced in a cabinet shuffle this week that he is preparing to shift his government's handling of the Indigenous Affairs file, a plan designed to lead to the eventual creation of two separate ministries to replace the existing department.

"This is an important part of the work we have to do together," Trudeau said after taking part in a smudge ceremony.

"It's a big job for Canada. It's a big job for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and we walk forward on the path of real reconciliation and partnership and friendship and shared responsibilities. It's not something we can do on our own. It is something that must be driven by, led by this partnership. It's an opportunity to sit down and hear from you, listen to concerns and talk about how we're going to move forward together."

Tribal council Chief Felix Thomas said reconciliation won't be possible without co-operation.

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"It's going to be hard work and no one side can do it. We can't do it all alone on our First Nations side," Thomas said.

"We do have a partner on account of treaty rights and that partner is Canada and we need to work together."

Trudeau was scheduled to take part in a discussion with co-op students at the Gordon Oaks Red Bear Student Centre at the University of Saskatchewan before he left for Whitehorse.

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