U.S. and Canadian leaders on Thursday celebrated the Year of the Black Bear with an outdoor celebration, with President Barack Obama at a news conference.
U.S., Canada and Mexico are marking the “Year of Black Bear,” which honors the Native American ancestors who fought against European colonizers in the Americas.
The annual holiday celebrates the Black Belt of the Americas and includes events including the annual celebration of the First Thanksgiving of the US, and the annual Black Bear Festival in Mexico.
“It is a time to remember our history, our resilience, and our promise to build a brighter future,” U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at the event, adding that the two nations “share a common destiny” to fight racism and eradicate poverty.
Guterres is scheduled to hold an address at the celebration, which coincides with the start of World Wildlife Day, the world’s largest annual animal welfare event.
The U.K.’s Prime Minister Theresa May and U.A.E.’s president, Ignacio Carranza, are also scheduled to attend.
Unauthorized hunting, theft and other illegal activities have become a persistent problem in Mexico, according to U.L.S.’s Indigenous Law and Security Research Unit.
In a statement Thursday, Mexico’s attorney general’s office called on the government to protect the rights of the indigenous people and the people of Mexico to live and work freely in their communities.
It also said the Mexican government would be more vigilant in preventing illegal activities.