After the Kamloops boarding school was found, the capital of British Columbia cancelled scheduled Canada Day programs
Warning: This story contains distressing details.
The Victoria City Council decided to cancel the Canadian National Day program originally scheduled for this year because an unmarked cemetery believed to be the remains of a child was found near the former Kamloops Indian boarding school.
Initially, due to the gathering restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, the city planned to commemorate the day with a virtual show. Instead, the city said it will produce some shows later this summer, featuring local artists and directed by local aboriginals.
“While the aboriginals mourned, considering the challenging time we, as a Canadian nation, was in after the remains of 215 children were found in a former boarding school, the City Council decided to spend time exploring new possibilities instead of previous Plans to conduct a virtual Canada Day broadcast,” Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps said in a media statement.
In an interview with CBC on the island On Thursday morning, before the city council decided to cancel the scheduled program, Helps said last Friday that she had a conversation with local Aboriginal people who usually attend Canada’s National Day celebrations. They said they felt they couldn’t do it this year.
“They feel uncomfortable participating in the competition this year because they are basically distraught, and so are many indigenous people across the country,” Help said Thursday morning.
She acknowledged the l?k?????n people who built the city of Victoria on their territory and ensured that the city’s July 1 plan reflected the needs of the community.
Helps said that residents can still commemorate this day in their own way, but the city hopes to provide an opportunity for people to think carefully and examine what it means to be a Canadian.
Anyone affected by the boarding school experience and those affected by the latest report can receive support.
A nationwide Indian boarding school crisis hotline has been established to provide support to former students and those affected. People can call the 24-hour national crisis hotline: 1-866-925-4419 for emotional and crisis referral services.