Kamloops to celebrate Canada Day virtually, encourage Indigenous heritage education | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops to celebrate Canada Day virtually, encourage Indigenous heritage education

Kamloops City Hall lit with orange to honour children buried near the former residential school, and to mark Indigenous History Month.
Image Credit: City of Kamloops/Kelly Funk Photography
June 17, 2021 - 12:44 PM

A virtual Canada Day event in Kamloops will include an added focus on Indigenous culture and heritage.

This year's event will "encourage education" on Indigenous heritage, according to a news release from the city.

In a statement, Kukpi7 (Chief) Rosanne Casimir encouraged everyone to continue acknowledging Canada Day.

"The best way to honour our country, and the diversity of its citizens... is to understand our real collective history," she said. "We would like to encourage all to learn more about the colonial legacy of the residential school... We also want people to understand the racism that Indigenous Peoples face daily."

Orange lights will remain at city facilities throughout the month of June, National Indigenous History Month. Flags at city facilities will remain at half mast until July 2, in honour of the 215 children found buried near the Kamloops Residential School.

"We encourage residents to reflect on what it means to be Canadian, how our true history has shaped the world we live in, and how we can continually progress toward reconciliation and a more inclusive community," Mayor Ken Christian said in a statement.

An in-person Canada Day event was originally planned, but was cancelled this spring due to public health restrictions.

More details on a virtual Canada Day event will be released later this week, according to the release.

"Part of what it means to be Canadian, is to recognize mistakes and learn from the past. We cannot proceed to advance as a country without continuing to come together and talk and share experiences," Casimir said. "Take this opportunity on Canada Day to do some research, watch some Indigenous movies, listen to APTN and most importantly, in your own way, honour all the lost children of the residential schools across Canada."

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