June 29, 2021
The City of Edmonton is asking Edmontonians to demonstrate their commitment to reconciliation by reflecting on the legacy of residential schools this Canada Day.
The recent findings of the remains of hundreds of children at former residential school sites in BC and Saskatchewan has created a national discourse on the existence and practices of residential schools in Canada. While the Truth and Reconciliation report talked extensively about residential schools, these findings have brought the schools and their devastating impact on Indigenous peoples to the consciousness of many Canadians for the first time.
“Understanding that this Canada Day comes at a time of renewed reckoning with our history, I urge Edmontonians to come together to ensure that every single person in this country is welcomed, accepted, and safe,” said Mayor Don Iveson. “This year, in the tail end of this pandemic and when horrors from our past are at the forefront of our minds, let's move forward together to build a stronger, more diverse and more inclusive country. Let's work together to make Canada a place that we can all be proud to call home.”
“While this is a difficult time because of the recent findings, Canada Day is an opportunity for us to come together to learn and reflect on our nation’s Indigenous history,” said City Manager Andre Corbould. “I encourage all Edmontonians to take time to support Indigenous peoples and honour the lives of children who are forever lost, those who survived residential schools, and those whose families continue to mourn as we recommit ourselves to moving towards reconciliation.”
The City will light the Walterdale Bridge, High Level Bridge, City Hall, and Muttart Conservatory in orange on July 1, 2, 3 and 4 and the Rossdale Power Plant on July 1. Edmontonians may wish to wear orange, or display orange lights on their homes or in their windows during that period.
The City of Edmonton remains committed to the journey of reconciliation and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action through the implementation of our Indigenous Framework, our Memorandums of Understanding, and our many partnerships in the community.
A number of support services are available to help those who are struggling. We encourage people to reach out if they need more information and support: