There has been considerable debate about Canada Day celebrations.
The tragic discoveries of unmarked graves at Canada’s Residential Schools sites has left many of us unsure how to appropriately and respectfully celebrate Canada Day, and if Canada Day 2021 is a day we should be celebrating. Cowessess First Nation Chief Cadmus Delorme’s shared his thoughts on the upcoming statutory holiday when he was interviewed on CBC’s The National on June 27.
“I would never tell somebody what to and what not to celebrate. You know, in 2021, we all inherited this. Nobody today created residential schools. Nobody today created the Indian Act. Nobody today created the Sixties Scoop. But we all inherited this. And if we want to say we’re proud Canadians, then we will accept the beautiful country we have today, and we will accept what we all inherited.
And what I would challenge is: Everybody on Canada Day in this country, if you say you’re a proud Canadian, read the Truth and Reconciliation ‘Calls to Action.’ Over 100,000 residential school survivors told their story – including my parents – and they created the Truth and Reconciliation ‘Calls to Action.’ Bring that into your personal life, your social life, your business life. And read the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls ‘Calls to Action.’ There’s 231 Calls to Action. If we can all own those a little bit in this country, in one generation we would overcome so many challenges today, that our next generation won’t inherit this. We will make them more as Dreamers.”
You can watch the complete interview with Chief Delorme starting at :36 in the clip, above.