June 25, 2021 NEWS RELEASE:
The District of Sechelt has cancelled Canada Day activities.
The Canada Day committee worked hard to plan an event
recognizing the good things Canada offers while also acknowledging the legacy
of harm caused to Indigenous people but determined this balanced approach was
not enough at this time. As participants and citizens have expressed concern
that now is not a time for any kind of celebration, Sechelt Council and the
Canada Day Committee; in consultation with the shíshálh Nation, the Sechelt Farmers
& Artisans Market and the Sechelt Downtown Business Association, decided to
cancel the parade and activities.
On July 1st a virtual protocol ceremony will be presented on the District Facebook page featuring the shíshálh welcome song, performed by kwayimin Andy Johnson; teachings by shíshálh elders Teta’lus Audrey Joe Angelene Valerie Joe, and the singing of O Canada by Sara Douglas. In addition, the District has been sharing educational resources on Indigenous culture, art and history on the District Facebook and Instagram pages. Those posts began on Indigenous Peoples Day and will continue daily until Canada Day.
Mayor Siegers commented, “We heard from our community that now is not the time to celebrate but it is a time to reflect on Canada’s history and how we can build a better future. It is a difficult decision to cancel a much-loved annual celebration, but it is the right thing to do.”