On July 1st we reflect on Canada’s beauty and the shared values that make this country feel like a safe, inclusive and inviting place to live.
The recent discoveries of unmarked graves at many former residential school sites have reminded us that not everyone in this country feels safe, included, and invited here. Indigenous Peoples are mourning.
Non-Indigenous Canadians are being asked to mark this year’s July 1st celebrations in different ways than we normally would. As Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps has said, “When our neighbours are suffering, it is not the time to celebrate.”
Here are some ways you can mark this holiday differently this year:
- Get together with your friends and family and share a meal. Enjoy your time together, but have conversations about what’s happening. Discuss ways we can work towards reconciliation. Refer to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
- Skip the fireworks! Consider donating to an organization that supports residential school survivors such as The Indian Residential Survivors Society.
- Wear an orange or black shirt instead of red and white to show your support for survivors.