There are mounting calls for Canada Day to be cancelled after the remains of over 900 people – mainly children – were discovered in unmarked graves at church-run boarding schools.
Indigenous community leaders and advocates in Canada say there is nothing to celebrate on July 1st and the day should instead be used to reflect on the real history of the country and support First Nation people. They further note it would be an affront to all children whose lives were lost through the course of Canada’s violent and oppressive past.
The Oshkaatisak Council of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, which represents dozens of First Nations across northern Ontario, says it will not acknowledge Canada Day. It plans to wear orange and spread awareness about the shameful history of Indian Residential Schools and the devastating legacy that continues to this day. It has demanded justice and accountability for the atrocities.
Canada’s so-called residential school system ripped more than 150,000 First Nation children from their families between 1831 and 1996. Many of the children were subjected to abuse, rape, and malnutrition. In 2008, the Canadian government formally apologised but to date there has been no real justice.
[Picture: Global Citizen]