July 1, marked as Canada Day has lost its celebrations in the country this year. Weeks after the discovery of hundreds of Indigenous children’s remains, ‘the celebrations mean nothing’ says many Indigenous people across Canada. The graves were discovered in the preliminary searches at the sites of a former “residential school” where Indigenous children were subjected to physical and sexual violence, psychological harm, starvation, and other forms of abuse.
The Indigenous community leaders and advocates have urged the people of Canada to cancel the celebrations and mark the day as a refection of the history of the nation.
“We need to recognize there is nothing to celebrate about this country right now, especially considering the empty words and inaction of the @JustinTrudeau government. It’s a day where we can mobilize to figure out how we can make this country one that IS worth celebrating.” Tweets David A. Robertson (Indigenous novelist).
The children, who were students at residential boarding schools from the mid-1800s to mid-1900s, are assumed to have died, far from home, after having suffered brutal abuse and neglect. For more than 100 years, Canadian authorities forcibly separated thousands of Indigenous children from their families and made them attend residential schools, which aimed to detach them from Indigenous family and cultural ties and adjust the children into white Canadian society.
It was in late May that the news first broke to the world and it was later on June 24th that the Chief of the Cowessess First Nation, Mr. Cadmus Delorme, announced the discovery of 751 unmarked graves (mostly Indigenous children) at the cemetery of the former Marieval Indian Residential School in the southeast corner of the Saskatchewan province.
While the world still feels disgusted for the inhuman act, people all over the world are supporting the campaign Cancel Canada Day where Twitter, Facebook and Instagram remains flooded with support posts.