Canada Day 2021 will have a very different tone for many. In the last few weeks, we have been shocked, saddened and outraged by the discovery of a mass grave at a former residential school in B.C. (containing the remains of 215 First Nations children) and Saskatchewan (751 unmarked burials).
Non-Indigenous Canadians are beginning to understand what First Nations people have been trying to make heard for decades.
Together as Canadians, we have an opportunity to change this country’s legacy of systemic racism and create the relationships that are at the heart of reconciliation. We cannot change the heinous acts of the governments and institutions who came before us, but we can stand together to demand deep and meaningful change and acknowledge the injustices and atrocities.
While there are still many reasons to be proud Canadians, there is also a time to reflect on this shameful part of our history. It’s time to educate ourselves on how racism has impacted many different cultures on our soil, and plan for a future where equity, inclusion, understanding and justice are the values that resonate in the story telling of our nation for generations to come.
On this day we proudly display the colour orange on our newspaper masthead, showing our solidarity with First Nations communities and mourning the lives of countless Indigenous children who were taken from their families and never made it home.
Crystal Murray, Advocate Media Editor-in-Chief