LATEST VIDEOS FROM CTV REGINA
Local group says some parts of Canada's history shouldn't be celebrated on July 1
Madina Azizi, CTV Regina
Published Thursday, June 29, 2017 7:20PM CST
The first day of July is a time to celebrate what it means to be Canadian, but some say not all of the country’s history deserves to be celebrated.
"We don’t think this is a time to celebrate, but rather to learn more about Canadian history,” said Florence Stratton, a member of Making Peace Vigil, an organization that promotes social justice.
“That’s what it should be used for, an opportunity to come to an understanding of the truth about Canadian history which is 150 years plus of colonialism, broken treaties and genocide.”
On Thursday, the group passed out pamphlets on Scarth Street to share a history lesson about colonization and what it did to indigenous people.
Stratton says justice can be achieved through the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 calls to action. Until then, they aren’t celebrating, she said.
"Working towards the truth, and then justice, then there can be reconciliation and celebration,” said Stratton.
Chasity Delorme is also not celebrating Canada Day. The Cree woman says her people were here long before confederation.
"A hundred and fifty years is celebrating a time when certain government structures was implemented while genocide was happening to First Nations people so there’s nothing to celebrate," said Delorme.
The Government of Canada is spending about $500 million on Canada Day celebrations. Delorme says that money could be better spent improving poor living conditions in some indigenous communities.
"There are so many First Nation communities in Canada that are still having water issues, water devastation, boil water advisories," said Delorme.
For Delorme, July 1 is going to be just another day. In fact, she will be going out of the country to meet up with friends and family. Moving forward, she would like to see some changes and the recognition that Canada was once called Turtle Island.