While all levels of government in Canada tend to spend the nation's birthday celebrating, this year is a little different.
To that end, the City of Vancouver is lighting both city hall and Burrard Bridge in orange to "commemorate the children found buried on the sites of Residential Schools," states the municipality in a tweet.
"We recognize that discrimination, abuse, & exploitation of Indigenous peoples is over 150 years in the making, & ongoing," they go on to say. "We extend our heartfelt condolences to the Ktunaxa Nation, Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc Nation, and Indigenous communities across BC, in joint mourning."
Along with the orange lights, the city is flying 15 flags representing Indigenous groups, including the Musqueam Indian Band, Squamish Nation, and Tsleil-Waututh Nation. Vancouver lies on their traditional and unceded lands.
Also being flown are flags from the three First Nations representing gender and sexual diversity, the Every Child Matters flag and the Indian Residential Schools Survivors Society Flag.
We’re flying 15 Indigenous flags on City Hall’s flag island. Flags from the Musqueam Indian Band, Squamish Nation, and Tsleil-Waututh Nation are flying next to the City flag, in recognition that we’re located on these Nations’ traditional, ancestral & unceded territories./5 pic.twitter.com/enPwqvYwSP— City of Vancouver (@CityofVancouver) July 1, 2021
For anyone who needs counselling, the Indian Residential School Survivors Society 24-hour crisis line can be reached at 1-866-925-4419.