Trudeau, political leaders ask Canadians to cleverly balance Canada Day celebrations and reflections
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked people celebrating Canada’s National Day to also take time to reflect on the country’s historical failures and work to build a fairer and more just society.
Trudeau said in a media statement: “Today, we celebrate our country and all those who call it home.”
“Although we recognize our success, we must also realize that for some people, Canada Day is not a day to celebrate.”
After the remains of children and unmarked graves were found in the ruins of former boarding schools in British Columbia and Saskatchewan, the Prime Minister issued an unusually gloomy message for Canada’s National Day.
Trudeau said that these revelations “rightly force us to reflect on our country’s historical failures and the injustices that still exist among the Canadian aborigines and many others.”
Watch: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau talk to CBC’s Ian Hanomansing about how they are Commemorate Canada Day:
The news discovered in the former boarding school triggered a national reflection on the abuse of indigenous peoples in Canadian history and revealed the inequalities that still exist in these communities.
These conversations cast a long shadow over the holidays that political leaders usually celebrate as a joyous occasion.
Trudeau’s official itinerary on July 1 does not include any traditional Canadian National Day celebrations. In any case, due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, these activities have been put on hold under any circumstances.
Instead, the prime minister plans to talk to Phyllis Webstad, executive director of Orange Shirt Society, a non-profit organization that supports boarding school settlements.
AFN national leader thanks Canadians for their commitment to reconciliation
Perry Bellegarde, National President of the Aboriginal Congress, asked non-Aboriginal Canadians to take time today to learn about the country’s shared history with the Aboriginal people.
“On this Canada Day, I extend a helping hand to many caring Canadians and join the effort for reconciliation,” he said.
Bellegarde said that true reconciliation will require Canada to face some persistent injustices, such as gender-based violence, systemic racism in Canadian institutions, Lack of clean drinking water with Moldy house In remote communities.
He also called for justice for the survivors of the boarding school.
New Democratic Party leader Jagmit Singh also gave up any celebration of Canada Day.He plans to meet with indigenous leaders and hold community gatherings to discuss reconciliation during the ride in Burnaby, British Columbia
Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole expressed similar reflections and celebrations in his Canada Day message, although O’Toole did not explicitly mention recent discoveries at the former boarding school.
“We are not a perfect country, but our shared commitment to Canadian values ??means that we should use this National Day as an opportunity to recommit ourselves to building a more inclusive and just society today and in the future,” O’Toole wrote .
Thousands march in Ottawa to commemorate the boarding school victims
Due to the pandemic, Ottawa cancelled face-to-face Canada Day celebrations for the second year in a row, but today there are still thousands of people marching to Capitol Hill to participate in the “Every Child Is Important” walking event in recognition of attending a boarding school Indigenous children who died.
People dressed in orange gathered near the Centennial Flame in front of Parliament, and the Canadian flag was lowered at half mast in recognition of recent discoveries at the boarding school.
Chantelle Barnaby, a member of the Eel Ground First Nation in New Brunswick, hopes that this parade will focus the nation’s attention on reconciliation.
“This is not about canceling Canada Day, but about acknowledging and mourning our children who never came home,” she told CBC News.
Barnaby pointed out that the percentage of Aboriginal people in Canadian prisons and foster care programs is seriously too high. She said Canada must commit to fulfilling the 94 calls to action in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report.
“This is happening, and the genocide is still going on,” she said. “We want our children to go home, and we want to support recovery.”
The Canadian Heritage Project continues to run virtual Canada Day events, including an online music show featuring British, French and Aboriginal artists.