Canada's Victoria cancels national day celebration after discovery of unmarked burial site | Inquirer News
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Canada’s Victoria cancels national day celebration after discovery of unmarked burial site

/ 05:04 AM June 12, 2021

VANCOUVER — The provincial capital of Canada’s British Columbia has decided to cancel a virtual celebration of the national Canada Day holiday on July 1 after the discovery of unmarked graves of children at a now-defunct indigenous boarding school.

The city council of Victoria voted on Thursday instead to air programming led by the local indigenous nation at a later date. Local indigenous leaders who usually participate in Canada Day ceremonies declined after remains of 215 children were found at the former school in Kamloops, northern British Columbia.

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“They’re grief-struck and reeling, as are many indigenous people across the country,” Lisa Helps, mayor of Victoria, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on Thursday.

Victoria will “produce a broadcast to air later this summer guided by the Lekwungen people and featuring local artists, that explores what it means to be Canadian, in light of recent events,” she said.

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The Songhees Nation, of which the Lekwungen people are members, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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TAGS: Canada, Canada Day, Indigenous people, Kamloops Indian Residential School, Songhees Nation
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