Here is what is happening in southern Saskatchewan. July 1
REGINA – Calls to cancel Canada Day have been growing ever since hundreds of anonymous graves have been discovered on the grounds of former residential schools across the country.
Canada Day celebrations in some centers in Saskatchewan were already limited due to COVID-19 restrictions, and leaders say the observance of the day will take on a different tone this year.
Here’s what’s happening in southern Saskatchewan on Thursday:
The Canada Day festivities at Wascana Park had already been canceled for the second year in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Buffalo People Arts Institute is hosting a one-day event at Buffalo Meadows Park (formerly known as Dewdney Pool and Park) to honor Indigenous ancestors, buffaloes, and the land.
The event began with a pipe ceremony at 6 a.m. and will feature a powwow for children, wall painting and other activities throughout the day.
The group said there will be a maximum capacity of 150 people at a time.
In the evening, the Regina Students’ Association of the First Nations University of Canada is organizing a cleansing walk starting at 7 p.m. at 1 First Nations Way.
There will also be a candlelight vigil starting at 7 p.m. People are invited to meet in the parking lot of the Royal Saskatchewan Museum at 6:15 p.m. and the group will walk to the Legislative Building where the vigil will take place.
The vigil will pass at the Albert Street Bridge at 9 p.m.
The Town of Moose Jaw is encouraging residents to participate in a rally to be held Thursday in solidarity with the Cowessess First Nation and the Indigenous community.
The Stand Up In Integrity Canada Day rally, hosted by Our Home on Native Land, will begin at noon at 220 Main Street North. The group will walk towards Athabasca Street.
The city said the Canada Day fireworks will stop halfway for a moment of silence. The city said it will also keep the flag lowered and the city hall clock tower will be lit orange.
The Yorkton exhibit usually ends on Canada Day, but this year’s event has been canceled due to COVID-19 and the city will not be hosting an alternate event.
Rather, it encourages people to think together about Canada’s history.
“Recognize Canada Day. But on the other hand, recognize what is happening in our country right now. It has to be dealt with properly, ”said Yorkton Mayor Mitch Hippsley.
Last week, the town of Melville decided to postpone its Canada Day celebrations following the discovery of 751 anonymous graves at the site of a former Cowessess First Nation residential school.
The city encouraged residents to light a candle in their windows to support residential school survivors and mourners.
In a letter, city council recommended that the mayor and council meet with local First Nations leaders “with the goal of planning an intercultural celebration in the summer of 2021.”