July 1 will see an event at the Vancouver Art Gallery plaza, but it won't be a Canada Day celebration.
Idle No More, the Indigenous protest movement, is organizing its second annual Cancel Canada Day rally.
"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," states the group in a press release.
This year many Canada Day events are already cancelled or minimized. In some cases, it's due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but for others it's explicitly because of the recent discovery of the remains of 215 on the grounds of the Kamloops Indian Residential School in May and subsequent discoveries of similar remains at a growing number of residential schools across the country.
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.
"It will promote growing calls to action for all of the residential schools to be investigated, holding the Canadian Government and Catholic Church accountable," says Idle No More of the rally.
"This is an open call for those who have been touched by the recent horrific truths revealed about the Indigenous history in Canada to join in allyship, seeking Justice as we work toward a peaceful future together," they state in the press release.
Things will start at 2 p.m., July 1 in the plaza in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery.