As we head in to the holiday weekend, First Nations communities across the country are not feeling as festive as the rest of the population.
A number of campaigns and initiatives have been ongoing protesting Canada’s 150th birthday and the substantial amount of money designated for the national event.
Indigenous activists across the country are banding together with a message that this is not a celebration for the birth of a country, instead it is the celebration of 150 years of oppression, deceit, and the theft of their land and heritage. Activists have pushed this concept even further erecting a teepee on Parliament Hill this week with plans to continue protesting throughout the weekend.
West Moberly Chief Rolland Willson agrees with the thought that Canada’s birthday is not for everyone and says his community has no plans to commemorate the 150th.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau removed his hat and shoes as he went into a teepee on Parliament Hill to speak with indigenous activists. Trudeau says he delivered a message of respect and reconciliation.
Protesters are engaging in what they call a ‘reoccupation’ of the land to draw attention to the history of Canada’s indigenous people during the country’s 150th birthday celebrations this weekend.
Activist Candace Day Neveau says they told Trudeau they want to be heard and let what they call ‘settler’ Canadians know they haven’t given up their land.
(with files from the Canadian Press)