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Letter: We should all wear orange on Canada Day

As settlers of this stolen land, examining such atrocities is important
Tsleil-Waututh healing circle 1
Tsleil-Waututh elder Deanna George speaks of her time spent at the Kamloops Indian Residential School at the healing circle held outside the Nation's School on May 31. Her daughter Carleen Thomas stands beside her.

Dear Editor:

As a teacher in the North Vancouver School District, I have a responsibility to present Canadian history and contemporary issues without shying away from the many ugly aspects – to name a few, disposable Chinese railway workers, Japanese internment camps, women and non-white males not having the right to vote, missing and murdered women and girls, Jewish refugees being turned away, the Indian Act and illegal pass system, Indigenous peoples having to prove the degree of trauma suffered from residential school to receive a sliding scale of compensation, and the abduction and mass murder of Indigenous children.

Certainly these are difficult, sensitive and complex conversations. One of the underlying messages is that, as settlers of this stolen land, examining such atrocities might be uncomfortable (to say the least), but awareness and reflection should be a part of what makes us Canadian.

To this end, I would like to see a promotion for this Canada Day to not only be a celebration of this nation, but also a solemn and meaningful moment of reconciliation. We should all wear orange on July 1.

Ian Powell
North Vancouver

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