Wednesday, June 30, 2021 - 2:30 PM

Reflection on Canada Day

On Canada Day, the City of St. John’s acknowledges the importance of working collectively to heal and to strengthen our country, for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples alike.

Flags at City Hall will be at half-mast on July 1 out of respect for the indigenous community and the thousands of lives lost.

This year is not a year for celebration, which is why our Public Service Announcement calls on residents to take the day for reflection and education on indigenous issues.
 
In August 2018, Council voted to no longer recognize the holiday formerly known as ‘Discovery Day’, and in June of this year, we discontinued holding the St. John’s Days celebration, asking residents to instead recognize National Indigenous Peoples Day (NIPD), which takes place annually on June 21.

In September of 2020, we joined representatives from First Voice to sign a Declaration in Support of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to promote and strengthen mutually respectful relationships with the urban Indigenous community in St. John’s and with all other First Peoples in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

These are important steps in the process of reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples in the province and the city, as they help to advance ‘Call to Action 47’ of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which calls on all levels of government to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery – a concept that has been used to justify centuries of colonial violence, including the residential school system.