Canada Day is a time for us to show pride in our country and appreciate the freedoms and privileges we enjoy as Canadians. However, this Canada Day is different.
In recent weeks, we have all been devastated by the news of several findings of hundreds of unmarked graves on the sites of former Indian Residential Schools across the country. The news has raised widespread awareness of the truth of our nation’s history with Indigenous Peoples, and has prompted all of us to reflect upon our beginnings as a nation.
I wish to express my heartfelt sorrow and grief in solidarity with all of those in our community and across Canada who have been deeply affected by the recent news. Flags will be flown at half-mast at all City facilities effective immediately until further notice.
Out of respect for Indigenous Peoples, together with the Region of Durham, the City of Oshawa is shifting the focus of Canada Day 2021 to be one of learning, reflection and action.
This Canada Day is a day to remember our duty to the original stewards of this land. It is an opportunity to honour the Indigenous Peoples who have nurtured and continue to nurture the land that we have the privilege to live on.
The City of Oshawa is located on the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation, covered under the Williams Treaties. Oshawa is the present day home of thousands of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples.
We encourage all residents to take this opportunity to learn about Canada’s and Oshawa’s history, our past and present day relationships with Indigenous Peoples and about the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action. It is a moment for all of us to reflect and commit towards reconciliation and to forge a better future together.