This Canada Day, the importance of coming together as a community is more important than ever. It’s a time to reflect on the commonalities in all cultures such as family, food, movement and creativity along with the relationships we would like to have with each other moving forward.
The Downtown New Westminster BIA recognizes that we work, learn and play on the traditional and unceded territories of the Halq'eméylem speaking Coast Salish peoples. Including nations such as the Qayqayt, qʼʷa:n̓ƛʼən̓(Kwantlen), Katzie, kʷikʷəƛw̓əm (Kwikwetlem), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Stó:lō, sc̓əwaθn məsteyəxʷ (Tsawwassen), and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.
The recent discovery of the remnants of 215 Indigenous children on the site of a formal residential school in Kamloops BC, leading to many more country wide, was a reminder of the tragedies wrought on by an appalling system, and though the existence of such a system in our history is devastating, it is important that we remember its legacy and its lasting effects to this day. On July 1st, you will be able to watch a video made by Spirit of the Children in collaboration with the City of New Westminster on Medicine Wheel Teaching and Healing in memory of the 215 children.
On Canada Day, the public is also encouraged to wear orange as a sign of support and a way to reflect. The orange shirt represents how every child matters and reflects on those lost and affected by residential schools in Canada.
The City of New Westminster is hosting several smaller activities as well: a drive through food truck lineup at the Old New Westminster Secondary School from 11am to 7pm, catering for seniors and an online cooking class in the evening ― all of the details are available on the City of New Westminster website here. In Downtown New Westminster, you will be able to find the Vancouver Circus School performing along the pier and boardwalk.
"We do not celebrate the hurtful legacy and ongoing impacts of colonization, but rather the opportunity to grow and heal together."