VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — While many people will be celebrating the country’s birthday, others will be actively demonstrating against it.
“Cancel Canada Day” marches are taking place nationwide, including Vancouver.
Coordinated by members of the Idle No More movement, organizers said they will, “not celebrate the ongoing genocide within Canada against Indigenous people.”
Not everyone is celebrating #CanadaDay2020. On the contrary hundreds have gathered In #Vancouver for #CancelCanadaDay a rally and march. Event organizer say “We will not celebrate stolen indigenous land and lives.” @CityNewsVAN @NEWS1130 @BT_Vancouver pic.twitter.com/fWEG1HvDQi
— Isabelle Raghem (@IsabelleRaghem) July 1, 2020
Instead, they said they will gather to honour all of the lives lost.
“We will use our voices for MMIWG2S, Child Welfare, Birth Alerts, Forced Sterilization, Police/RCMP brutality and all of the injustices we face,” reads a post on the event’s Facebook page.
The crowd listened to speakers from first nations communities, as they talked about their encounters with racism and Canada’s dark history with Indigenous people.
“This is what resilience looks like. We’re still here. This is what strong Indigenous people look like,” one speaker said.
Crowd gathered at Vancouver Art Gallery for Cancel Canada Day event. Speakers drawing attention to systemic racism in Canada. Some have signs that read, 'Resist' and 'Idle No More' @NEWS1130 pic.twitter.com/svycOkzrvU
— Jonathan Szekeres (@jonszekeres) July 1, 2020
Another speaker told the crowd, Wednesday’s protest is also for future generations.
“Because what kind of world are they going to grow up in? We don’t do nothing. That’s why we’re here. And that’s why we’re standing together.”
A large crowd braved the rain at the Vancouver Art Gallery but organizers asked for anyone attending to wear face masks, stay two metres apart, and respect physical distancing.
Idle No More also posted a live broadcast around the same time with live feeds across Canada.