LETTER FROM MAYOR ROBIN JONES, COUNCIL AND STAFF
Westport recognizes the diversity of this land and acknowledges a complex history better understood through Truth and Reconciliation and the lived experiences of all communities.
The Village of Westport joins communities across Canada and the world in mourning the loss of the children who died because of the residential school system. The reported remains of at least 751 individuals who died at the site of the former Marieval Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan reminds us of the disturbing legacy that residential schools continue to have on Indigenous people across our country.
We are outraged at the loss of lives and ashamed that this behaviour was tolerated, even accepted and excused because of a government “policy”. These grave sites are a stark reminder that residential schools forcefully disrupted Indigenous families, deprived them of their culture, and exposed many children to extreme forms of abuse. Here. In Canada. In Ontario.
Many people have said “I didn’t know that this was going on when I was growing up”. Fair enough – but now everyone should know and acknowledge the injustices that were the reality for Indigenous people in Canada. Become informed and use these grim discoveries as the spark to learn the truth about residential schools and the impacts they continue to have on individuals, their families and communities.
This Canada Day, take time to reflect on what we can do as a community to help Canada become a better place for everyone. What role you have and what can we do collectively to move towards reconciliation with Indigenous peoples?
Westport will not be holding any Canada Day events this year, nor is the Village initiating or sponsoring the decorating or placing of flags as in other years. Municipal Canadian flags will remain at half mast for one week.
Mayor Robin Jones, Council and Staff Village of Westport