Victoria’s 2020 Canada Day celebration will not happen this year. (Black Press Media file photo)

Victoria’s 2020 Canada Day celebration will not happen this year. (Black Press Media file photo)

Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations backs cancelling Canada Day celebration

Statement made after Victoria cancels Canada Day event as a statement of reconciliation

David Pratt, vice-chief of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, said it would be a “really good idea” to cancel Canada Day celebrations. The federation represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan.

“Because, I’m telling you, Indigenous people are really hurting, young and old alike,” he told a news conference.

“A lot of people are really hurting right now, and I think it would be appropriate.”

Cancelling Canada Day celebrations would go a long way in recognizing the pain and suffering of Indigenous people, especially after the discovery of the remains of the 215 children, he said.

“We’re collectively mourning right now and in grief, and a lot of old wounds have been dug up and reopened because of this.”

A number of Indigenous communities have released statements saying they won’t celebrate Canada Day, he said.

“It will, in fact, be a day of mourning for their community,” Pratt said.

“And I think we’ll probably see more of that. I don’t think that you’ll see too many Indigenous people waving the flags around on July 1.”

City council in Victoria voted unanimously to cancel a planned Canada Day broadcast in order to permit a “thoughtful reflection” of what it means to be Canadian.

A statement from the City of Victoria says council voted to scrap the virtual celebration following the discovery of what are believed to be the remains of 215 students buried on the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.

The city said it will be guided by members of the local First Nation and will replace the broadcast with one that features Indigenous artists, which is scheduled to be broadcast later this summer.

Mayor Lisa Helps said Canada, as a nation, is in a “challenging moment.”

The city’s broadcast has been cancelled as council takes time to “explore new possibilities,” she said in a statement.

“While everyone will mark Canada Day in their own way on July 1, now is a time where the city can take leadership and provide an opportunity for thoughtful reflection and examination of what it means to be Canadian in light of recent events and what we already know from our past,” it said.

—The Canadian Press

RELATED: No Canada Day events in Victoria, out of respect for First Nations

Canada DayIndigenous

Just Posted

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Carver Bara winds up to throw a pitch at his June 14 game. (Kristal Burgess Photography)
PHOTOS: 15 and under baseballers step up to bat

A June 14 Salmon Arm minor baseball game resulted in action-packed moments

The City of Salmon Arm’s freshly painted Chevrolet van was ready to begin its mobile visitor centre duties on June 18, 2021. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Eye-catching van to spread word of what’s great about Salmon Arm

Mobile outreach is one component of the city’s new visitor service strategy

Nash Bredick and Ian Calkins enjoying a ride at a previous Salmon Arm fall fair. (Cameron Thomson - Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm fair returns for 2021

Fair takes place Sept. 10-12 and features midway, vendors and special events

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read