Warning: The following story contains details of residential schools that may be annoying. The family crisis line for survivors and families of Canadian residential schools in Canada is available 24 hours a day at 1-866-925-4419.
“Nothing to celebrate.” This is the message of many Indigenous people across Canada, who celebrate their Canada Day national holidays on Thursday just weeks after there are hundreds of child remains. discovered in unmarked tombs.
The remains were discovered in preliminary searches at the sites of former “residential schools”: institutions of forced assimilation in which indigenous children were subjected to physical and sexual violence, psychological harm, starvation and other forms of abuse.
In the days leading up to Canada Day, indigenous community leaders and advocates have urged people to cancel any celebration. Instead, they call for the day to be about reflecting on the real history of Canada and supporting Indigenous people.
“We must recognize that now there is nothing to celebrate in this country, especially given the empty words and inaction of the government @ JustinTrudeau. It’s a day where we can mobilize to find out how we can turn this country into a country worth celebrating, ”said Indigenous novelist David A Robertson he wrote on Twitter.
The Nishnawbe Aski Nation’s Oshkaatisak Council, which represents dozens of Northern Ontario’s first nations, said it would not recognize Canada Day and instead plans to “bring orange and raise awareness about the shameful history of schools Indian residential and the devastating legacy that continues today ”.
We must recognize that now there is nothing to celebrate in this country, especially given the empty words and inaction of the @JustinTrudeau government. It is a day where we can mobilize to find out how we can make this country a country worth celebrating. / 6
– David A. Robertson (@DaveAlexRoberts) June 27, 2021
“As a nation of Indigenous peoples, we must be strong and call this on the rest of Canada. The true history of this country is finally being revealed, and it is time to stand together and demand justice and accountability, “Oshkaatisak council member Mallory Solomon of the First Nation said in a statement on Tuesday. Constance Lake.
Several Canadian cities have abandoned their Canada Day celebrations in response to recent discoveries 215 Remains of native children at Kamloops Indian Residential School in the province of British Columbia (BC) and so on 751 unmarked graves at the Marieval Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan.
Chief Jennifer Bone of the Dakota Nation of Sioux Valley, Central Manitoba, it was also said in June that the community believes there are 104 potential graves in three cemeteries on the site of the Brandon Residential School, which was open from 1895 to 1972.
Canada’s residential school system operated from the late 1800s to the 1990s. It was part of a larger colonial project that sought to take over Indigenous lands and forcibly assimilate First Nation, Metis, and Inuit children to mainstream Canadian society. Several churches, including the Roman Catholic Church, ran at least 139 residential schools across Canada.
Indigenous people across Canada, especially the survivors of residential schools and their families, have it. has experienced renewed trauma as unmarked tombs were discovered for years calls for real accountability and justice of Ottawa and the Catholic Church have intensified.
“As First Nations mourn and in light of the difficult time we are as a Canadian nation after the discovery of the remains of 215 children in a former residential school, the Council has decided to take the time to explore new possibilities, rather than the previous ones. Canada Day scheduled virtual broadcast ” dit Lisa Helps, Mayor of Victoria, BC, June 11th.
Dave Ryan, the mayor of Pickering, Ontario, about 40 km (25 miles) east of Toronto, said the city will focus on “education, reconciliation and reflection” on Canada Day. The city’s flags would also be flown at half-mast from June 30 to July 2, Ryan said video shared on social media.
“It doesn’t seem like the time to celebrate,” Dawson City Council Yukon said in a statement, which also canceled Canada Day celebrations. reported by CBC News.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last week that Canada Day would be a time for Canadians to reflect “on reconciliation, on our relationship with Indigenous peoples and how it has evolved and how it must continue to evolve rapidly.”
“I think this Canada Day will be a time for reflection on what we have achieved as a country, but on what more we need to do,” he told reporters.
Not everyone supports the call to cancel Canada Day, however, like federal Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole, who said she is “concerned that the injustices of our past or present are too often caught by a small group of activist voices who use it to attack the very idea of Canada itself ”.
“As someone who has served Canada and will soon ask for the confidence to lead our country, I can’t keep quiet when people want to cancel Canada Day. I’m very proud to be Canadian and I know most people are. O’Toole wrote on Facebook publish.
“We are not a perfect country. No country is. We need to recognize where we have fallen short. There is a difference between legitimate criticism and always choosing to defeat Canada. “
But Idle No More, a grassroots-led grassroots movement leading Cancel Canada Day protests across the country, said canceling the events was “minimal recognition” after the unmarked graves were discovered.
The group said at least 50 municipalities have decided to cancel Canada Day events so far this year.
“It is encouraging to see 50 municipalities cancel Canada Day out of respect for the grief of Indigenous peoples. All other cities should follow suit,” said Sheelah McLean, co-founder of Idle No More statement Monday. “Stolen indigenous land and stolen indigenous life are not things to celebrate.”