Canada Day celebrations in British Columbia focus on reconciliation – BC

Thousands of British Columbians gathered across the province on Canada Day, however, the celebrations took on a different tone this year.

After unmarked graves were discovered across the country last summer, the city of Victoria decided it was time to celebrate Canada Day a little differently.

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The city’s mayor cruised through the inner harbour, ahead of the opening of Canada Day celebrations in Victoria, in a traditional Aboriginal canoe. It was a new start for Canada Day in the capital.

« It really means a lot to the Lekwungen people that this is happening today, » said Songhees First Nation elected council member Margaret Charlie.

Along with the national anthem, traditional dancers took center stage and a moment of silence took place – a stark contrast to the typical fireworks display.

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“It’s about having Western culture and in our case, in these lands, the Lekwungen culture lives side by side. It’s not one or the other, it’s both and I think we really see that today,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps.

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In other communities in the province, the theme of the truth of reconciliation was prominent.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh was at Canada Day festivities at Edmonds Park in Burnaby.

« We reflect on the injustice the country has committed and we are committed to ensuring that we build a better country, » said Jameet Singh.

While there is still a lot of work to be done according to the leader of the NDP, this Canada Day marks another step on the road to reconciliation, setting a precedent for years to come.

Click to play video: 'Return to Canada Day festivities in Penticton, BC'

Back to Canada Day festivities in Penticton, BC

Back to Canada Day festivities in Penticton, BC

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