The Metropolis of Victoria has cancelled a deliberate on-line Canada Day presentation because the neighborhood grapples with the invention of the stays of 215 kids in unmarked graves on the former Kamloops Indian Residential Faculty.
Town will as a substitute work with native First Nations to supply an alternate broadcast that may air later in the summertime “that explores what it means to be Canadian, in gentle of current occasions,” in keeping with a Metropolis of Victoria media launch.
The choice got here in a unanimous vote at Victoria metropolis council Thursday.
It got here after some Lekwungen First Nations folks, who’ve lengthy participated within the metropolis’s Canada Day occasions, mentioned they might not participate this yr as a result of ache and trauma of the invention.
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“It was troublesome, a lot as reconciliation is troublesome work and laborious conversations and grappling with the realities of the colonial — and in some instances, genocidal — previous of the nation,” Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps mentioned of the choice.
“Along with the nice issues about dwelling in Canada and along with a deep path of reconciliation, we’re strolling with the Songhees and the Esquimalt nations.”
No date has been supplied for the one-hour alternative broadcast.
The movement authorized Thursday says that program shall be checked out as an academic alternative, which might embrace Lekwungen elders sharing their historical past of the land now generally known as Victoria, an academic piece on residential faculties and Sir John A Macdonald, together with different contributions First Nations could want to make.
The Metropolis of Victoria made headlines in 2018 when it eliminated a statue of Macdonald exterior of metropolis corridor, following consultations with First Nations, over the previous prime minister’s function within the creation of residential faculties.
A reconciliation plaque now stands within the statue’s place, whereas session is underway to resolve the place to finally transfer it.
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