GUELPH POLITICAST #281 – #CancelCanadaDay

It was a very unusual Canada Day, wasn’t it? In some ways, it was even more unusual than last year’s Canada Day in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic’s first wave, but there was a lot of room for some kind of outdoor festivities, but there wasn’t much in terms of will. In the aftermath of our frightening new understanding of our own history, is there a better way to mark Canada Day in 2021 than protest? Continue reading “GUELPH POLITICAST #281 – #CancelCanadaDay”

Canada Day Words and Thoughts from an Indigenous Elder

This Canada Day was one unlike any other as the country reckoned with the legacy of residential schools, and the hundreds of Indigenous youths discovered so far buried in unmarked graves on those properties. At a Cancel Canada Day march here in Guelph on Thursday, Indigenous elder Maani Anne Cheesequay was the first to speak, and presented below, verbatim, are her heart felt words that began an afternoon of anger, mourning and reconciliation. Continue reading “Canada Day Words and Thoughts from an Indigenous Elder”

“No Pride for Genocide”: A Different Canada Day with a Different Message

It was tough navigating downtown on Thursday afternoon. At one intersection, Wyndham and Macdonell Street were closed for the enjoyment of patio dinners, while up the road, at Norfolk and Macdonell, the streets in front of the Basilica of Our Lady were closed for a very different holiday activity. Hundreds of people in Guelph used their Canada Day to support local Indigenous people as we all continue to cope with the reckoning around residential schools. Continue reading ““No Pride for Genocide”: A Different Canada Day with a Different Message”

Rotary Calls Off In-Person Canada Day Festivities for Second Year

In some perhaps unsurprising news, the Rotary Club of Guelph has cancelled in-person Canada Day festivities in Riverside Park for the second year in a row due to ongoing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the news will be disappointing to the thousands of people that usually enjoy July 1 in the park, the City of Guelph has framed the move as a chance for reflection after recent events. Continue reading “Rotary Calls Off In-Person Canada Day Festivities for Second Year”

GUELPH POLITICAST #278 – A History of Violence

The discovery of 215 young Indigenous people buried on the property of the old Kamloops Indian Residential School re-opened a great many old wounds in this country, and just in time for National Indigenous History Month. Nation-wide, there may be between 11,000 and 15,000 missing children unaccounted for, which means this story is only going to get worse before it gets better. Continue reading “GUELPH POLITICAST #278 – A History of Violence”

Ontario Government Announces $10 Million to Find Remains on Residential School Sites

The shocking (or not-so-shocking) discovery of 215 young Indigenous children buried on the property of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School forced the country to ask a question: How many more kids are out there, unclaimed, and buried in unmarked graves? The Government of Ontario announced today that they’re going to help try and answer the question by offering $10 million to Indigenous communities across Ontario to find out. Continue reading “Ontario Government Announces $10 Million to Find Remains on Residential School Sites”

Longfield and Schreiner Offer Statements on Residential Schools

One week ago, news broke that a mass grave was discovered on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. The grave contained the remains of 215 young people, some of them as young as 3 years old, and it prompted a new wave of shock and outrage, along with a call for our political leaders to take immediate steps to address systemic racism against Indigenous people. Are Guelph politicians hearing the call? Continue reading “Longfield and Schreiner Offer Statements on Residential Schools”

Indigenous Leaders Offer Sorrow, Anger and Healing at Basilica Vigil

The news that an unmarked mass grave with 215 young Indigenous children had been uncovered on the grounds of the former Kamloops Residential School has become a national scandal, and a source of national grief and sorrow. Those emotions were expressed by hundreds of people from Guelph who showed up for a vigil in front of the Basilica of Our Lady on Tuesday evening. Continue reading “Indigenous Leaders Offer Sorrow, Anger and Healing at Basilica Vigil”

Guelph Marks Discovery of Mass Grave at B.C. Residential School

The discovery of a mass grave with the remains of 215 children at the Kamloops Indian Residential School has re-opened a national sorrow, and prompted new demands for accountability and reconciliation. Guelph is no exception as key Royal City institutions have lowered their flags to half-staff in recognition of the loss while community activists organize a vigil at Guelph’s most recognizable landmark. Continue reading “Guelph Marks Discovery of Mass Grave at B.C. Residential School”

“The Change Starts Now!” Thousands Take Over Market Square to Say, “Black Lives Matter!”

Thousands of people flooded Market Square Saturday and than marched through the streets downtown to send one message: anti-Black and anti-Indigenous racism must end, and so must police brutality against those groups. In what might have been one of the largest protests Guelph has ever seen, especially in recent memory, a diverse group of residents joined a worldwide chorus of people demanding the elimination of systemic racism. Continue reading ““The Change Starts Now!” Thousands Take Over Market Square to Say, “Black Lives Matter!””