Indigenous NDP Sol Mamakwa, the only provincial politician to attend a residential school, is asking people to use Canada Day as a day of reflection, not celebration.
Mamakwa posted a two-minute video message on Twitter.
He said many Canadians are finally waking up to the horrific price Indigenous people paid to create this country.
“Every Canadian pays a price for our shared history. We as Indigenous people paid in full with our lives, our families, our languages, our way of life, and our spirituality, and we continue to suffer,” he said.
This Canada Day should be a day of reflection of the country’s dark roots, Mamakwa said, and a day for all of us to commit to doing better now and in the future.
He’s asking everyone to spend the day reflecting and remembering the hundreds of children found buried on the properties of two former residential schools.
“Non-Indigenous Canadians you also pay a price. The privileges’ you now enjoy here were paid for in our blood and that of our children. I know it must feel terrible to accept this reality, the proof is before your very eyes, you can not look away,” he said.
Last Friday, the prime minister apologized following the tragic discovery of 751 unmarked graves at a former residential school in Saskatchewan, but he has not committed to a criminal probe or inquiry.
This is my message to Canada on Canada Day.
I will not celebrate with picnics and fireworks. I’ll spend the day reflecting, remembering all we have lost and how to move forward.
I ask you to do the same. pic.twitter.com/leXGe2206s
— Sol Mamakwa MPP (@solmamakwa) June 28, 2021