More orange, less red and white as Atlantic Canadians honour Indigenous people July 1

·1 min read

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Many in the Atlantic provinces abandoned fireworks and red-and-white flags on Thursday, opting to swap traditional Canada Day festivities for a show of solidarity with Indigenous Peoples.

Bright orange "Decolonize YYT" peppered the crowd of about 200 people who stood in the rain for a demonstration in St. John's, N.L., today, at times chanting, "No pride in genocide."

Stacey Howse, the executive director of the First Light friendship centre, which supports members of the city's Indigenous communities, told the crowd it was impossible to celebrate Canada Day after the recent discoveries of what's believed to be more than 1,000 unmarked graves outside three former residential schools.

In Nova Scotia, the Sipekne’katik First Nation today is holding a day of healing for survivors of residential schools and Chief Mike Sack says the ceremonies have been emotional and, at times, extremely difficult.

Two First Nations in British Columbia say ground-penetrating radar has detected what are believed to be the remains of 397 children at unmarked burial sites at two former residential schools, while the Cowessess First Nation last week said the same technology found 751 unmarked graves at a former residential facility in Saskatchewan.

Orange shirts are worn to commemorate the experiences of First Nations, Metis and Inuit children in residential schools, in memory of a piece of clothing a First Nations girl in British Columbia had taken away from her at a residential school in 1973.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 1, 2021.

The Canadian Press

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting