The year 2017 is considered the 150th anniversary of Canada;
Aboriginal peoples shape and form a part of the population and culture of Canada;
The regrettable history of colonization and assimilation of Aboriginal peoples, as well as the expropriation of 99.8% of their communal territory, is part of the history of Canada that is at the centre of the 2017 festivities;
The conclusion of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report proposes numerous measures to improve relations between Aboriginal people and non-Aboriginal people;
Too large a majority of the programs and events organized for the 150th anniversary fail to incorporate the situation of Aboriginal peoples and merely serve to promote a patriotism based on collective non-remembrance; and
This situation is unquestionably a social problem.
We, the undersigned, residents of Quebec and members of the University of Sherbrooke’s Aboriginal law committee, call upon the Government of Canada to recognize and more frequently depict the genocide experienced by Aboriginal peoples since colonization, including through residential schools and the slaughter of Inuit sled dogs; and to recognize that it is beneficial to be honest with the public and raise awareness of this controversy. We also call on the government, the media and the various organizations responsible for the programming of events marking the 150th anniversary of Canada and subsequent editions of Canada Day to put more emphasis on the repression experienced by Aboriginal peoples.
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