While many Canadians celebrate the first of July with pride, hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Downtown Vancouver Wednesday to protest the national holiday.
The rally was organized by Idle No More - an organziation that aims to protect Indigenous rights and the protection of land, water, and sky. It kicked off at 3 p.m. outside of the Vancouver Art Gallery, as well as in many cities Canada-wide.
On its Facebook page, the organization stated: "We will not celebrate the ongoing genocide within Canada against Indigenous people. Instead we will gather to honour all of the lives lost to the Canadian State. We will use our voices for MMIWG2S, Child Welfare, Birth Alerts, Forced Sterilization, Police/RCMP brutality and all of the injustices we face.
Protestors held signs that state that there is, "No pride in genocide," while other signs implored people to, "Decolonize KKKLanada!"
A number of musicians, dancers, poets, and community members performed and gave powerful speeches.
Have a look at some photos and videos that Vancouverites shared from the demonstration.
Crowd gathered at Vancouver Art Gallery for Cancel Canada Day event. Speakers drawing attention to systemic racism in Canada. Some have signs that read, 'Resist' and 'Idle No More' @NEWS1130 pic.twitter.com/svycOkzrvU— Jonathan Szekeres (@jonszekeres) July 1, 2020
Yesterday I celebrated Culture Day! I was mesmerized by the beautiful BIPOC creatives that came out and radically expressed themselves! I do not celebrate colonial genocide, I celebrate the people! * * The @culturedayvancouver team is absolutely phenomenal! The passion and drive towards a true representation of the Arts in our community was powerful to witness yesterday! * * To the singers, dancers, rappers, speakers, vendors, poets, Djs - You blew me away yesterday with your beautiful spirit! Thank you for showing up! I SEE YOU! Taking up that space! RISE ✊🏽 * * As an immigrant to this country with Canadian citizenship; I recognize my own privilege and I am grateful to be a visitor on these Indigenous lands. * * I am grateful for the opportunity to speak my truth; to speak about radical self compassion, radical self love, and radical self expression - THIS IS OUR REBELLION against the system! * * P.s If you want to hear my speech put a 👋🏽 below :)
John Deighton(Gassy Jack), the man this monument celebrates, was at first married to a Squamish woman, whose name is currently unknown. Before her death around 1870, her 12-year-old niece, Quahail-ya, came to care for her. After her death, Deighton married Quahail-ya when he was 40 years old, she was still only 12 years old. Quahail-ya gave birth in 1871 to Richard Mason Deighton. #cancelcanadaday #gassyjack #idlenomore
CANCEL CANADA DAY & CULTURE DAY ✊🏿✊🏾✊🏽✊🏼✊🏻 💚💛❤️🖤 • • • #indigenouslivesmatter #noprideingenocide #cancelcanadaday #idlenomore #blacklivesmatter #kkkanada #indigenoussolidaritywithblacklivesmatter #indigenoussolidarity #blacksolidarity #musqueam #coastsalish #tseilwaututh #squamish
I love the subtlety Rp @kanahus.tattoos Cancel Canada Day #cancelcanadaday #fuckthepigs #fuckthesystem #defundpolice #landback #reconciliationisdead. . #Kiai #Freedom #manawahine #manamahu #ProtectMaunaKea #ProtectNativeLands #ProtectSacredLands #MaunaMajority #MaunaMoments #WeAreMaunaKea #Hawaiians #IndigenousRights #IndigenousPeoplesRights #UNDRIP #UnitedNations #Kupuna #TillTheLastAlohaĀina #AllHawaiiStandTogether #Onipaa #AlohaAina #Indigenous #IndigenousPeoples #HumanRights #CivilRights
Tagged are some of the groups present during the event. I suggest that you check them out to see how you can support/get involved! I used to celebrate Canada Day. It meant barbecues and potlucks. It meant watching fireworks. It meant watching the parades. To me, an immigrant, it was a day to celebrate the country that I am fortunate to reside in. I bought into the whole “Canada is proud of its multicultural heritage” that I truly believed it at that point. I was wrong to celebrate a country that exists due to the forced relocation and genocide of Indigenous people. A country that upholds white supremacy by systemically discriminating against Indigenous folks. It didn’t end when the last residential school was closed to like I was taught in school. It looks a bit different but it continues to this day. I can’t celebrate Canada Day for that reason. Instead of barbecues and fireworks, I need to show solidarity with the Indigenous community and hold the government accountable for their crimes. I need to keep educating myself and others. Until we can fully acknowledge, correct, and compensate for the racist and violent past of Canada, I don’t want to celebrate Canada Day. #kkkanada #canadaday #cancelcanadaday #reconciliation #mmiwg2s
Today was beyond words, I am so fucking amazed by the beautiful Indigenous people at the rally today, the beautiful non-Indigenous supporters, today was such an amazing demonstration of strength. I wanna say thank you to everyone there for making me feel safe and empowered as an Indigenous person, for teaching me so much, for sharing culture and medicine, and for showing me that I'm not alone. Fuck "Canada", Fuck today, fuck to colonizers and the oppressors and the pigs and everyone who tried to get rid of us because we're still here. I will forever take the strength and knowledge I received today with me. #cancelcanadaday #cancelcanada #indigenouslivesmatter
VANCOUVER IN YELLOW BY TALLULAH CANCEL CANADA DAY - A rally held in Vancouver and across Canada to draw attention to systemic racism. The gathered crowd listened to and saw performances from Indigenous performers, recounting their communities collective encounters with racism and Canada’s pernicious actions against Indigenous communities. Butterflies in Spirit is a dance group consisting of family members of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG). ... On stage, members of the group wear shirts depicting images of their missing and murdered loved ones today Chantel Moore was honoured. Vancouver an enigma of a city a mixture of glass towers rising high into the sky showcasing the wealth and glamorous living contrasted with the world of shopping carts, tents and tarps of the homeless rattling through the picture-perfect city of dreams. All of this human endeavour surrounded by the local majestic mountains and ocean. Through this city - I traverse with camera in hand fascinated by fleeting moments highlighted by the colour yellow. #cancelcanadaday #vancity @inside_vancouver @butterfliesinspirit #vancouverinyellow #SPiCollective #gettyreportage #DTES #vancouver #vancouverbc #YVR #veryvancouver #vancouverisawesome #igersvancouver #vancouverphotographer @npac_appc @blinkdotla #nikon📷 #nikoncanada #photography #artistsoninstagram #travelwithacamera #yellow #yellowphotos #streetphotography #coronavirus
This is how I spent my #cancelcanadaday as a new settler - standing with our indigenous leaders on these unceded and stolen native lands of Coast Salish peoples. Let’s reimagine this day for our children so we can move past the genocide on which #canada is located. #idlenomore #blacklivesmattervancouver ❤️🏳️🌈✊🏽
Gratitude for the words of @kolinsutherlandwilson: They came onto our lands to steal our children. They came onto our lands to drag us out of our houses of ceremony. And they came onto our lands to subjugate us and install puppet governments under the purview of Canada. That is what the RCMP has always done. That is what is the legacy of the police. They've never done anything in our best interest. Because they serve the Canadian state. They've always been a tool of colonialism. And so, we need to get rid of them outright. Because anyone that tells you that we can't protect ourselves, and that we can't regulate our own judiciary and our own safety systems, is a racist. Because they're basically saying we, as Indigenous people, are incapable in all those regards, and so many other respects. So, we really need to be critical in all these discussions. We need to understand the root of prejudice. The root of all these mentalities that are guiding the situation today. That are guiding the politicians within this building. That are allowing them to make choices that put our lives in danger. That are allowing the police to put our lives in danger. That are allowing the Canadian state to endanger us. We need to be critical because our lives are in danger. And our lives are connected to the lands, which are also in danger. So, next time #shutdowncanada happens, I expect you all to be there. I expect you to stand up. And I expect you to shut this country down. . #cancelcanadaday #cancelcolonialism #kkkanada #silenceisviolence #nojusticenopeace #solidarity #indigenousrights #decolonizekkklanada #stolenland #defundthepolice