“This year, Canada Day should be nothing more than a day of reflection. I will not celebrate the birth of a nation that destroyed our children.”
The words of Sol Mamakwa, NDP MPP for Kiiwetinoong and a member of Kingfisher First Nation, are ones people living in what we call Canada must hear and must contend with.
He continues by asking: How do we celebrate?
How do we celebrate as we continue to uncover the remains of stolen Indigenous children and adults across the country?
How do we celebrate knowing that there are many more?
How do we celebrate knowing that the final count will still not count them all because so many were sent home, too late, to die?
With these questions, and so many more, we, the Indigenous Council of CUPE Ontario, supported fully and joined by the Executive Board of CUPE Ontario, will not be celebrating Canada Day this year. Instead, we ask that people who live in what we call Canada use this time to reflect on what can only be described as this country’s ongoing history of genocide against First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples.
“Instead,” continues Mamakwa, “I will continue to mourn for our lost children and dig deep to find the strength to help build a path to a better future.”
And so will we. On July 1, we will mourn, remember, and commit to action by:
- taking part in healing walks and other events
- London, Ontario: https://www.facebook.com/events/1871865249637311
- Toronto, 10am: https://www.facebook.com/groups/EndtheMillenniumScoop/posts/1033949070492580/
- Toronto, 1pm: https://www.facebook.com/events/853850922178259/
- Toronto, 6:30pm: https://www.facebook.com/events/1019328545139086/
- Ottawa: https://www.facebook.com/events/4467666426600146/
- Sarnia: https://www.facebook.com/events/958502661593669/
- Thunder Bay: https://www.facebook.com/events/757041518304567/
- Guelph: https://www.facebook.com/events/497202248208066/
- Peterborough: https://www.facebook.com/events/525938015214280/
- continuing to demand that all levels of government commit to the terms of the “Missing Children Research Project”, which calls for:
- An examination of the number and cause of deaths, illnesses, disappearances of children;
- The location of burial sites;
- A review of all relevant church and government records, as well as information provided by survivors, staff, or anyone else.
- calling on the Ford Conservatives to restart a cancelled plan to update provincial curriculum documents with Indigenous content, specifically concerning residential schools;
- and calling on the Federal government to respect the NDP motion passed by the legislature demanding that the government stop fighting Indigenous children in the courts;
- and wearing orange
These are just a few steps of many. But they’re steps we need to take on July 1st if we’re going to build that path to a better future for all.