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Mississauga Modifies Virtual Canada Day Ceremony to Encourage Reflection on Country’s Past

Local government | June 30, 2021

This year, Canada Day in Mississauga will look much different. While the City is not cancelling its Canada Day activities, which were already modified due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the overall tone of its virtual ceremony has shifted.

Council approved a motion today to change the tone of its virtual ceremony to that of reflection and reconciliation in light of the recent tragic residential school findings in British Columbia and Saskatchewan.

“Over the past few weeks, Canadians have been reminded of parts of our history that cannot be forgotten. The heartbreaking discoveries of more than a thousand unmarked graves and forgotten burial sites at former residential schools across Canada have deeply affected us all,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “To honour the lives lost and to recognize the survivors who continue to suffer, I encourage all Canadians to take what would normally be a day of national celebration as a day of deep reflection this year. While we have much to be proud of as Canadians, this year it is more important to turn our focus to unity and reconciliation. While we cannot change the past, we can certainly work toward a more unified, equitable future where everyone belongs.”

The Council motion reads as follow:

WHEREAS The City of Mississauga operates on the Treaty and Traditional Territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and Anishinaabe peoples, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and the Huron-Wendat First Nation. We recognize that these peoples, and their ancestors live and lived on these lands since time immemorial on these lands called Turtle Island. The City of Mississauga is home to many First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples; and

WHEREAS the residents of the Town, now City, of Mississauga chose for their name an anishinaabemowim name which speaks to the shared settler and Indigenous history within these lands; and

WHEREAS the City of Mississauga has committed to a path towards Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and has responded to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action; and

WHEREAS the City of Mississauga is committed to speaking truths about our history to further our collective understanding of the past to help create a better future; and

WHEREAS the terrible uncovering of over one thousand unmarked and forgotten child burials at residential schools which have been reported over the past month is a truth about Canada’s past; and

WHEREAS because of these truths the government of Canada has declared this year’s Canada Day should be a time of reflection and focus on reconciliation; and

WHEREAS Gimaa Stacey Laforme of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation has called for this to be a time for supporting each other and contemplating the legacy and future of Canada; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the City of Mississauga will mark Canada Day virtually this year in a manner that provides an opportunity for reflection on our shared history and commitment to a better future:

  • Singing of National Anthem
  • Greetings and Opening Remarks, Mayor Bonnie Crombie
  • Comments from Mayor of Kariya, Japan Takeshi Inagaki
  • Comments from Gimaa Stacey Laforme
  • Oath of Reaffirmation performed by Members of Council
  • Closing Remarks, Mayor Bonnie Crombie 
  • Lighting the Clock Tower orange to remember those lives lost and changed forever as a result of residential schools
  • Changing the digital signage at the Square to “As we mark Canada Day, the City of Mississauga stands in solidarity with Indigenous communities across Canada.”

AND FURTHER to mark this Canada Day:

That the Council of the City of Mississauga call upon the Government of Canada to terminate its appeal of the 2019 Human Rights Tribunal Ruling, ordering Ottawa to pay compensation to First Nations Children and their families, separated in a chronically underfunded child welfare system that sees Indigenous children making up more than half the children in foster care even though they comprise only 7% of all the children under the age of 15 in Canada.

AND that this Resolution is be sent to all municipalities in Canada.

The 2021 virtual Canada Day ceremony will include remarks from Mayor Crombie and Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation Chief Stacey Laforme. It can be viewed here on July 1 at 11 a.m.

Additionally, the City of Mississauga’s Civic Centre Clock Tower to be lit orange on the evening of July 1, instead of its usual red and white, to show support and solidarity with Indigenous communities across Canada.

Flags at City facilities are currently lowered to half-mast for 751 hours, until July 25, in honour of the unmarked graves that were discovered in Saskatchewan in June. Flags will remain at half-mast on July 1.

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Media Contact:

Lindsay Francini

Supervisor, Employee Communications and Events

City of Mississauga

T 905-615-3200 ext.4073

lindsay.francini@mississauga.ca

TTY: 905-896-5151