Truth and Reconciliation
Before acknowledging Canada Day, the City of New Westminster must first acknowledge its history of violence against the First Peoples of this land. We have come upon the one year anniversary of the announcement out of Tk’emlups te Secwe̓pemc about the discovery of 215 unmarked graves at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.
Forevermore, Canada Day will not only be a day to celebrate the privilege of being Canadian but also to remember and to acknowledge that the price of that privilege was and continues to be impossibly high to Indigenous peoples and their communities. It is our responsibility as a Nation, as a City and as citizens of this land to make reparations for that history through our ongoing commitment to reconciliation.
After initial conversations with Indigenous people of New Westminster as well as with the Residential School Survivors Society, the City has chosen to memorialize the 215 and acknowledge that growing number by incorporating Salish artwork into its Canada Day graphic design as a symbol of our commitment to truth and reconciliation.