06/29/2017 10:29 EDT | Updated 06/29/2017 15:00 EDT

Justin Trudeau: Past 150 Years 'Not As Positive' For Indigenous Peoples

He said he recognizes they might not be celebrating the country's birthday the same way.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau chats with Premier Wade MacLauchlan in Cardigan, P.E.I. on June 29, 2017.

CHARLOTTETOWN — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a Prince Edward Island crowd today that reconciliation with aboriginal Canadians needs to be a key theme of Canada's 150th birthday.

Speaking at a curling rink packed with Islanders, Trudeau said he recognizes that indigenous Canadians may not be celebrating in the same way as others across the country.

Trudeau told the crowd in Montague that "the history of the last 150 years for indigenous peoples has not been as positive."

In Ottawa, aboriginal protesters who were initially met with resistance from police late Wednesday, raised a large teepee in front of Parliament Hill's East Block as part of a criticism of the country's treatment of its original occupants.

Earlier in the day, Trudeau and P.E.I. Premier Wade MacLauchlan sat outside a resort near Cardigan, where the prime minister told him he often hears from "fiercely proud" Island MPs in his caucus on a variety of issues, including the high cost of crossing the Confederation Bridge to the mainland.

Trudeau is scheduled to hold a news conference after a tour of the C3 Expedition Ship in Charlottetown and then head to New Brunswick later in the day for more meet-and-greets.

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