Hundreds of people gathered in the šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl'e7énḵ Square (formerly known as the Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza) outside of the Vancouver Art Gallery on Wednesday (July 1) for the second annual Cancel Canada Day rally.
Organized by Idle No More, the Indigenous protest movement, the event saw a sea of orange t-shirts to honour the lives of children who were sent to residential schools across Canada.
"This is a call to action for both Indigenous Peoples AND Allies to come together in solidarity to peacefully disrupt this Canadian national celebration in honour of the Indigenous lives lost to the Canadian Government, including the lives of hundreds of children in the Residential School system," stated the group in a press release.
The group wrote in a Facebook post that the recent discovery at the Kamloops residential school "has reminded us that Canada remains a country that has built its foundation on the erasure and genocide of Indigenous nations, including children."
Experts have for years estimated the number of children who died at residential schools to be in the thousands. The Nation Centre for Truth and Reconciliation has documented at least 4,117 deaths of First Nations, Inuit and Métis children.
Have a look at some of the images and videos from the rally on July 1.
Cancel Canada day Marchに行ってきた— みーたん@YVR🇨🇦 (@Jpn2020C) July 2, 2021
“Cancel Canada day” demonstration at the Vancouver Art Gallery today. Thousands gather to demand the cancellation of Canada day, and to tear down “white supremacy” in Canada. @RebelNewsOnline pic.twitter.com/J6T1TFB77a— BREVNER (@MattBrevner) July 1, 2021
Standing in solidarity with Indigenous people today at the packed Cancel Canada Day rally at Vancouver Art Gallery. The Cdn gov't MUST work toward reconciliation. #NoPrideInGenocide #everychildmatters pic.twitter.com/7Ko0LXw5dw— Aleesa Sutton (@Vanleesie) July 1, 2021
Cancel Canada Day Protest— sherepunjabradio (@SherEPunjab600) July 1, 2021
Port Coquitlam BC. pic.twitter.com/xur8cTh6j9
For immediate assistance to those who may need it, the National Indian Residential School Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day at 1-866-925-4419.
With files from Brendan Kergin.