The president of Métis Nation of Alberta says Canada Day is a time to reflect on the past and work towards reconciliation.
“Canada Day has, for many, been a time for pride and patriotism. This year as you celebrate and gather with family and friends, it must also be a time to reflect that the nation of our shared pride is also one that was built on colonialism, genocide and the continued oppression of Indigenous peoples,” said Audrey Poitras in a statement.
Poitras said the discoveries of hundreds of unmarked graves at residential schools are a reminder of Canada’s dark past, and for many Indigenous peoples, the traumas and the losses are a very real part of the present.
“It is the responsibility of everyone sharing this land, both newer arrivals and those who have lived here for generations, to reflect on the truth of the past and work toward reconciliation with those who were and continue to be oppressed. Facing the truth and working toward true reconciliation will fulfill the promises of our country and the privileges and freedoms it represents.”
“As Métis, we embody the integration of European heritage and First Nations. We live with both histories. We are proud Canadians, but we also live with the traumas of residential schools and continued oppression. On Canada Day, we ask that everyone reflect on the past, present and future experiences of Indigenous peoples and what it means to be Canadian.
A news release states the Métis Nation of Alberta regions and locals are beginning to plan investigations into residential schools throughout Alberta. The organization will discuss with each region and local the best manner of support that can be provided.
St Albert Métis Local 1904 is the first to announce ground-penetrating radar searches.