Indigenous people across Canada have boycotted the country’s 150th independence day celebrations, instead holding events to raise awareness and protest the glorification of colonialism and indigenous genocide.
Photograph: Al Jazeera
One organiser of a protest on traditional Algonquin territory told Al Jazeera, “When your identity and culture are suppressed, there shouldn't be celebrations.”
“For many of us from the grassroots, we find it repugnant that Canada is celebrating 150 years of what we consider is racism and genocide and colonialism,” another protester said.
Writing in the Globe and Mail, the indigenous NDP MP Romeo Saganash says:
“You see, for us, nearly everything around us represents colonial domination and genocide and is an example of Indigenous resiliency. Except that I’m really tired of constantly having to fight to prove that I have the right to exist.”
“In a world where our very existence is criminalised and our presence is defiance, Indigenous people are forced every day to live in a world built by their colonizers.”