A survey of the former Kamloops Indian Boarding School in British Columbia indicated that an estimated 215 children’s remains may be buried at the site, prompting some people to call for the cancellation of this year’s Canada Day celebrations.
Soon after these revelations, #cancelcanadaday became popular on social media. At the same time, some communities across the country, including Victoria, announced that they would not carry out the planned activities on July 1.
Now, with the disclosure that there may be hundreds of unmarked graves at Marieval Indian Boarding School in Cowessess First Nation, Saskatchewan, this call may grow stronger.
CBC News asked people across the country whether they would celebrate Canada Day, and whether they would support the cancellation of the event based on the findings of the former Kamloops and Maryvale boarding school.
Country and folk singer-songwriter, Winnipeg
“I think my own belief is that Canada Day is a problem in terms of how we deal with it. I think this is where we really need to study it in more depth. I think it will take millions of dollars to celebrate, no Sure if this is what we should do now as a country. I think maybe [we should spend] It’s time to reflect and truly educate yourself.
“For everyone, every Canadian, this is an opportunity to say,’What is my place in this story?’ I think if you are here and in this country, you are part of this story. I think you really need to educate yourself. You can be an accomplice, you can be ignorant, or you can educate yourself. I hope what we do on this Canada Day is that we spend more time educate ourselves about our history, Who we are, who we are now and who we want to be.”
Co-founder of BC-based Sisters Sage, a local brand of handmade health and self-care products, member of Gitxaala, Nisga’a and Métis Nations
“To be honest, I never celebrate Canada Day. Since I thought I was old enough, I didn’t realize what Canada stands for and what Canada Day is. I am an aboriginal, so I grew up in a racist culture. This is just a normal thing. Unfortunately, it has been standardized. But this is something I deal with every day. It is really difficult for the indigenous people now. Therefore, we are all very painful and traumatized and deal with this issue very publicly through social media.
“There is a saying Now I am saying: There is no pride in genocide. This is real. Therefore, it is difficult to be proud of being a Canadian. I am proud of being an aboriginal. Our existence is our resistance. We are still here. “
Executive Director of Vancouver ALIVE, Director of Northwest Aboriginal Council Association
“I never support [Canada Day], To recognize the ongoing process Canada is doing to our people.but [calls to cancel Canada Day] Begin to clarify the history of the relationship between Canada and the Aboriginal people.I will say if there is any [cancelling] Will reveal the historical and contemporary relationships between the aborigines, and I will support this.
“I think [that] The discovery of unmarked graves…for some reason, this caused a sensation among the Canadian public. I think they are empathetic. I think they are shocked.
“I don’t recognize that I am a Canadian citizen. This was imposed on me when I was born. This is the result of the Canadian Indian Act. So that’s why I said Canada has a lot of unfinished things to do. So I don’t think I don’t think of myself. It’s a Canadian, let alone a proud Canadian.”
President, founder of the Ministry of Hope, originally from the Alexander First Nation in Edmonton-Sixth Treaty Territory, exclusive news survivor in the 1960s
“I don’t think this Canada Day should be cancelled. We should stand at attention… but stand at attention. Fully recognize the entire history of Canada and all its atrocities, genocide, and boarding schools.
“I think this is a question of changing your overall view of the whole celebration, because many people directly ask,’Why should I celebrate the past? Why should I?’ So now is to change my perspective and say, when I celebrate Canada Day, I will not celebrate it because of the past. I will celebrate it in the future based on how I want it to be in the past.
“In fact, we all still live here. So we must make the most of it and move forward, not only to be resilient, not just to survive, but also to learn how to thrive in our lives. But I fully understand whether my people or anyone else does not want to celebrate. I fully understand, because we all grieve in different ways.“
Advisor to the World Bank, Toronto
“I don’t think it should be cancelled. I realize that we already have some very disturbing revelations, but the way forward is not to stop aspiring to be a better country, nor to try to erase a country’s existence or history. It’s about acknowledging it and trying to do better.
“Although we acknowledge the suffering of our aboriginal brothers and sisters, there have been many sufferings in Canadian history and even today. I am a Muslim woman and I am a racialized person. Our place of worship was burned down and Nazi flag destruction. I was kicked out of the first house I bought, which was in a small town in Canada. Because racist locals made my life unbearable, I had to flee.
“When it comes to our country, our history, and fellow Canadians, I personally have a lot of dissatisfaction. But I still want to look forward. I still want to be positive…life here cannot just be Suffering. It’s also a little bit of community, fellowship and joy. It’s worth celebrating for me.”
Teacher, Brampton, Ontario
“I don’t think it should be completely abolished. I think we absolutely need to have a conversation about what we are celebrating and the types of ideals that Canada is trying to achieve, and recognize that we have essentially failed to achieve these ideals, while also acknowledging that we Success and progress in this regard.
“My family came here as immigrants because we are all immigrants and they came here to live a better life. I think Canada offers a lot of opportunities for many people here. Now, please pay attention, that It is at the expense of others. This is also part of history that we need to recognize.”
“I think Canada Day is an opportunity for people to heal together and say together,’Listen, okay, our great country has not realized this ideal. How can we come forward and realize this? Ideal? We actually What can I do? I mean, Canada Day should celebrate that everyone is an equal Canadian. What better opportunity to discuss equality, fairness and opportunity, and what better opportunity to conduct this than Canada Day dialogue.”