Kitchener mayor issues statement on ‘different’ Canada Day
The message calls for “both reflection and recognition” of the nation’s “shameful treatment of indigenous peoples”.
To mark a more subdued observance of Canada Day this Thursday, Kitchener’s Mayor Berry Vrbanovic issued a statement on behalf of the city calling for both “reflection and appreciation” to mark the occasion as he stated that the country can still move forward with hope for the future and “gratitude for the good”.
Echoing the views of many communities in the region and across the country, Vrbanvoic called this year’s Canada Day “different” as he wrote that we did not see the recent and terrible discoveries of unmarked graves on former residential school sites around the world “Just ignore” country. Vrbanovic said the bodies of hundreds of indigenous children have now been exposed, Vrbanovic said the continued exposure of our country’s history exposed both Canadians and the world to our “shameful treatment of indigenous peoples.”
Vrbanovic also recalled the recent anti-Islamic attack on a Muslim family in London, calling the tragic event a “heartbreaking example” of “deeply rooted racism” in Canada today.
“We cannot deny that these terrible truths are part of our reality in Canada,” wrote Vrbanovic. “It’s hard for someone to party in such a heartbreaking and dark time. For those whose everyday lives are directly affected by intergenerational trauma, systemic racism and discrimination, there is absolutely nothing to celebrate. “
Vrbanovic called for action, reiterating the city and council’s commitment to reconciliation, saying residents can show their support by learning more about the “devastating history” of Canada’s residential school system, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions 94 are calling for it Act on. Vrbanovic added that he hopes the people of Kitchener will find an “appropriate” way to discover Canada – by realizing what makes Canada a wonderful country to live in, while also thinking about the work that is being done has to be done.
“We must strive for the day when every child in Canada – whether indigenous, Canadian resident or foreign-born immigrant – is part of a fair, just and just country and community.”
“We must strive for the day when every child in Canada – whether indigenous, Canadian resident or foreign-born immigrant – is part of a fair, just and just country and community.” Read the #CanadaDay statement here from @CityKitchener: https://t.co/H0dN52GTCq pic.twitter.com/n4OkAktt5q
– Berry Vrbanovic (@berryonline) July 1, 2021