WARNING: This story accommodates distressing particulars.
Victoria metropolis council has determined to cancel its scheduled Canada Day programming this 12 months following the invention of what are believed to be the unmarked burial websites of youngsters’s stays close to the previous Kamloops Indian Residential Faculty.
Initially, town had deliberate digital programming to mark the day as a consequence of COVID-19 pandemic gathering restrictions. As an alternative, town mentioned it’ll produce one thing for broadcast later this summer time that includes native artists, and guided by native First Nations.
“As First Nations mourn and in gentle of the difficult second we’re in as a Canadian nation following the invention of the stays of 215 youngsters at a former residential faculty, council has determined to take the time to discover new potentialities, as a substitute of the beforehand deliberate digital Canada Day broadcast,” Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps mentioned in a media assertion.
In an interview on CBC’s On the Island Thursday morning, previous to council’s resolution to cancel scheduled programming, Helps mentioned that final Friday she spoke with native Indigenous people who typically take part in Canada Day celebrations, who mentioned they did not really feel they may achieve this this 12 months.
“They did not really feel snug taking part this 12 months as a result of principally they’re grief-struck and reeling, as are many Indigenous folks throughout the nation,” Helps mentioned Thursday morning.
She acknowledged the lək̓ʷəŋən folks, on whose territory town of Victoria was constructed, and the significance of making certain town’s plans for July 1 mirrored the wants of that neighborhood.
Helps mentioned residents can nonetheless acknowledge the day in their very own manner, however the metropolis desires to supply a chance for considerate reflection and examination of what it really means to be Canadian.
Assist is out there for anybody affected by their expertise at residential colleges and those that are triggered by the most recent stories.
A nationwide Indian Residential Faculty Disaster Line has been set as much as present assist for former college students and people affected. Individuals can entry emotional and disaster referral providers by calling the 24-hour nationwide disaster line: 1-866-925-4419.