Thousands of British Columbians gathered in the province for Canada Day, but the celebrations took a different tone this year.
Following the discovery of unmarked graves across the country last summer, the City of Victoria decided it was time to do something a little different on Canada Day.
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The city’s mayor crossed the Inner Harbor in a traditional Indigenous canoe ahead of the opening of Victoria’s Canada Day celebrations. It was a fresh start for Canada Day in the capital.
“It really means a lot to the people of Lekwungen that this is happening today,” said Margaret Charlie, an elected councilor for Songhees First Nation.
In addition to the national anthem, traditional dancers took center stage and a minute’s silence was held – a stark contrast to the typical fireworks.
“It’s about western culture and in our case in these countries the Lekwungen culture living side by side. It’s not either or, it’s both and I think we’re really seeing that today,” said Lisa Helps, Mayor of Victoria.
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In other congregations across the province, the theme of the truth of reconciliation came to the fore.
NDP leader Jagmeet Singh was at the Canada Day celebrations at Edmonds Park in Burnaby.
“We reflect on the injustice that the country has committed and commit to making sure we build a better country,” said Jameet Singh.
Although there is still work to be done, according to the NDP chair, this Canada Day marks another step on the road to reconciliation and sets a precedent for years to come.
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https://globalnews.ca/news/8962331/b-c-canada-day-celebrations-focus-on-reconciliation/ BC Canada Day celebrations focus on reconciliation – BC