Yesterday, Council and I were called upon to answer an important question. In light of the recent discoveries of mass graves at Residential Schools, should the Village celebrate Canada Day this year? Like many in our community, we feel that a celebration right now, in the midst of such atrocious discoveries, is inappropriate.
We decided that a day of celebration for Canada this year was not something we were ready to engage in. Virtual activities have already been prepared for our community’s youth, and supported by sponsorship from local businesses and these activities will go ahead.
July 1st remains a Statutory Holiday. I will use this time to contemplate individual and collective understandings of the history of Canada. To recognize that the country we call home, came to be through systems and institutions that instilled and continue to uphold racism against Indigenous peoples.
I would encourage you to spend this day in the spirit of reconciliation. Take this time to listen, to read and learn, to open hearts and minds. Set the intention to help heal our country and support our Indigenous family, friends, loved ones, and neighbours. Commit to rebuilding a Canada that treats Indigenous peoples with dignity, love, and deep respect. Not just today, everyday.