Thu. May 19th, 2022

The city of Toronto and many surrounding municipalities frame the way Canada Day is celebrated in the wake of the discovery of nearly 1,000 unmarked graves at residential schools in the country.

Residents across Canada have expressed anger and sadness after the discovery of an estimated 751 unmarked graves at a former Saskatchewan residential school site followed by 182 more Wednesday at the site of a former school in Cranbrook, BC This came just weeks after the remains of 215 children were found on another former residential school location in Kamloops, BC

In Toronto, hundreds attended a walk organized by the Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Center Thursday morning. Participants began the tour at the Toronto Council Fire, located near the streets of Dundas and Parliament, before going to Yonge-Dundas Square for a round dance. Participants then walked to Nathan Phillips Square.

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Participants wore orange shirts and held signs in honor of the residents’ school victims, as the song “every child matters” could be heard throughout the event.

Flags were lowered at half-staff, and the Toronto sign was scheduled to be lit orange instead of the usual Canada Day colors with red and white in solidarity with indigenous communities.

“This Canada Day, we are blessed with ingenuity and compassion and the values ​​and resources to do more,” said Toronto Mayor John Tory of Nathan Phillips Square.

“The question is whether we choose to take advantage of it and do more.”

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For the Banberkel family, Patrick and Scarlett said it was important to bring their children so they can learn where they come from.

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“So in the future, we can take better steps to support all communities, especially the indigenous community. “They are our first nation, and they deserve equal rights, and they deserve to be treated with respect and truth and reconciliation,” Scarlett told Global News.

Allison Ahumada repeated that feeling of why she had her eight-year-old son Sebastian with her.

“As a parent, I think we can all relate to the heartache that is being felt right now,” she told Global News.

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“We applaud Canada, but we rejoice in the best possible Canada, which we do not see right now, and it is one that takes responsibility for its actions, is transparent about its past and looks forward to a better future.

“Pride comes from finding a new way forward that is inclusive and respectful and transparent about who we are.”

Ahumada also said she believes there is a lack of initial research in Canada’s school systems and that curricula should be updated to increase educational awareness.

In Mississauga, Mayor Bonnie Crombie said the city will mark Canada Day “differently” and be changed from a party to a “reflection time.” The Clock Tower, which usually glows red and white, also glows orange.

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“I mourn the thousands of children in the unmarked graves who never had a full life … over the parents whose children never came home again, and the survivors of the after-school who are still living with so much pain. “In Mississauga, we stand in solidarity with all the indigenous people affected by these tragedies,” Crombie said in a video message Thursday.

“The housing school system was one of the darkest chapters in Canada’s history, and recent discoveries remind us that we still have so much work to do as a country to truly achieve reconciliation.

Brampton will host a virtual event showcasing native artists and executives, including the Twin Flames and iskwe.

As this year marks Canada’s 154th birthday, the city recognizes that it is a time for reflection on the country’s past and how we can work together to build a stronger, more inclusive future. In Brampton, we are honored to live, work and enjoy this country, ”officials said in a press release.

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Pickering Mayor Dave Ryan said the municipality’s Canada Day programming will be one of “education, reflection and reconciliation.”

“This Canada Day, we invite you to consider Canada,” he said in a video message, adding that the Mississauga flag on the Scugog Island First Nations will fly at City Hall and all other flags will be at half mast.

Confirming that the Rotary Club of Guelph has canceled its annual Canada Day celebrations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Guelph City urged its residents to use the day for attention and reflection.

Premier Doug Ford said Thursday that Canada Day should be a time for Ontarians to reflect.

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“There is no doubt that indigenous peoples have suffered injustices throughout the history of Canada,” he said in a statement.

“So today, as we each mark Canada’s Day, I pray that we will all take the time to remember these children, mourn their loss, and acknowledge the effects of the terrible legacy of homeschooling that continues today. I stand shoulder to shoulder with First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities to work towards a better future. ”

With files from Saba Aziz

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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