Canada Day Statement & Resources
A statement from the ULSU in reflection of Canada Day:
This year as we look at Canada Day, the University of Lethbridge Students’ Union encourages all people living within this territory to acknowledge the vast courage and strength of the Indigenous Peoples of this land. Today we stand with the Indigenous peoples (First Nations, Metis, Inuit, and non-status) of Turtle Island. We wish to acknowledge the many years of pain and trauma endured in the past and that these communities continue to face. Furthermore, we would like to acknowledge the incredible perseverance and survivance of Indigenous people across this nation.
Over the past month, we have received multiple counts of heartbreaking news of so many Indigenous children who never returned to their families and communities as a result of Canadian Residential Schools. As members of this nation, we must look with a clear lens on how the country of Canada came to be. The effects of colonialism and the attempted genocide of the first peoples of this land must be acknowledged if we wish to move towards reconciliation between the multiple Indigenous nations who have lived here since time immemorial and the nation of Canada.
As we take time today to appreciate the positive experiences had within this country, we should reflect on the truth of Canada’s history and focus on what we as community members can do moving forwards to create an equitable and safe campus and overall community for Indigenous peoples across Turtle Island. From the ULSU we would like to express our support to the Indigenous community today and every day.
Statement & Resources provided by the Reconciliation Lethbridge Advisory Committee:
This year, as we reflect on Canada Day, the Reconciliation Lethbridge Advisory Committee encourages everyone to do so with renewed interest and reverence towards the impact of the Indian residential schools, the 60’s scoop, the ongoing Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls crisis, and the inappropriate removal of Indigenous children from their homes, past and present. Colonization has inflicted numerous traumas on Indigenous (First Nation, Metis & Inuit) survivors and their generations to follow. We must acknowledge the attempted genocide of Indigenous peoples and remember and honour the little children that never made it home from those residential schools. There are five Residential schools in the surrounding communities: Old Crowfoot and Old Sun Schools in Gleichen; Sacred Heart in Brocket; and St. Mary’s and St. Paul’s in Cardston. This Canada Day is an opportunity to educate ourselves further about residential schooling and the legacies of Canada’s colonial past. In addition, we invite you to consider honouring those children who lost their lives at residential schools and those who carry the trauma of residential schooling to this day by hanging an orange shirt on your door or placing a teddy bear or a pair of children’s shoes on your doorstep this July 1st.
If you are seeking more information about residential schools and Canada’s colonial past, please refer to these resources:
If you are in need of emotional support or assistance the National Indian Residential School Crisis Line is 1-866-925-4419, Kainai Wellness is 403-737-3883, and the Hope for Wellness Helpline is 1-855-242-3310.
Indigenous Awareness Gatherings and Community Celebrations happening July 1st
Turning Deer Sisters in collaboration with Sweetgrass Youth Alliance - Indigenous Awareness Rally - 12 PM
- Walk begins at Ecole La Verendrye School (625 21 St S) to City Hall and then to Galt Gardens
Aakah'kohsiiksi (Those Who Have Many Children) - Community Celebration - 2 PM
- Galt Gardens - Inviting Tiny Tots, Elders, and Graduates
Jayme First Rider & EGOLES ANONYMOUS - Awareness Drive - 5:30 PM
- Meet at U of L Students' Union parking lot
Alica Mistaken Chief - Candlelight Vigil - 9 PM - Galt Gardens
PREPARE FOR WEATHER ABOVE 35°C