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Canada’s 154th birthday has come with a lot of baggage this year, as many around the country expressed mixed feelings about celebrating Canada Day. Given the shocking and continuing news on the findings of hundreds of unmarked graves in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and the Yukon, media reactions have ranged from calling to flat out cancel Canada Day to taking stock of Canada’s dark past and treatment of Indigenous communities.
This sentiment has not gone unnoticed by immigrant communities throughout the country. Our analysts at MIREMS have prepared a selection of stories from Italian, Punjabi, Korean, Chinese, and Polish outlets which highlight that it’s time for Canada to face its past, reflect on its history and admit its mistakes.
Canada Day and the wounds of a country that must face its own history - Italian
The maturity of a country can be measured only by the ability to face the darkest pages in its history. Thursday’s Canada Day celebrations differed greatly from those of the past due to counterdemonstrations to raise awareness about residential schools. “We cannot change the past,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, “but we must be determined in confronting these truths to be able to build a new path towards the future.” According to Corriere editor Francesco Veronesi, we are facing a situation that presents risks but also reason for optimism. The principal danger is that this re-evaluation of some aspects of our history could lead to other divisions, as happened in Italy for many years on April 25, the day of liberation from Nazi-Fascism. The key, says Veronesi, is understanding the mistakes of the past so as not to repeat them in future. Canada Day is thus becoming both a national holiday and an occasion to reflect on what happened in the past. In addition, our politicians have a responsibility to dictate the times of this debate, trying to set aside the usual tedious partisan divisions. In a cartoon, Chief Cadmus Delorme pours liquid from a bucket marked “Gas” over a candle Trudeau is lighting while saying, "Oh Canada."
PRINT - Corriere Canadese (Daily) - Toronto, 02/07/2021 - ARTICLE, Italian
Share the facts before fuelling the fires of hatred - Italian
Description: Joe Volpe - Corriere publisher Joe Volpe does not see how burning "icons of religious affiliation" will gain sympathy or trigger anyone’s sense of guilt for perceived wrongs committed in the past. A 2,000-year-old Christian movement is now the scapegoat for all self-defined marginalized, oppressed and “offended” minority communities. Volpe also notes that however accurate the technology used to discover the presence of graves at former residential school sites, no one has yet indicated the age of the dead or how, when and why they died. If there are documents to help us understand what happened, the heirs of those governments that set up the schools to integrate Indigenous communities into the “Canadian mainstream” should be best equipped to divulge that information.
PRINT - Corriere Canadese (Daily) - Toronto, 02/07/2021 - ARTICLE, Italian
Thousands take part in Every Child Matters Walk to honour residential school victims, survivors - Punjabi
Description: Chants of "Every Child Matters" rang through the streets of Toronto as thousands wore orange and black and took part in the Every Child Matters Walk. In lieu of Canada Day celebrations Thursday, many marched to support residential school survivors and to honour the memory of more than 1,000 Indigenous children who lost their lives at residential schools across Canada. The march was organized by Toronto Council Fire, a cultural centre in the city which supports and uplifts First Nations people in Toronto. Meanwhile, the members of the Sikh Motorcycle Club organized a rally in support of Indigenous people. Ram Pal Singh Dhillon, a member of the Sikh Motorcycle Club, said that like every year, the club planned a Canada Day ride, but this year, it was in solidarity with the Indigenous community. He said that as we all know, many graves of children were found on various residential school grounds. The Indigenous community in Stoney Creek gave the Club a call to wear orange this year, and we rode with them for an hour, in solidarity with them, Singh added.
TV - PTC North America (Daily) - Toronto, 02/07/2021 - News, Punjabi
Article on Seongam Academy on July 1, 1963; Canada Day arrives in wake of residential school discoveries - Korean
Description: Young-tae Pyo - As Canada marks its 154th anniversary, the country reels from the discovery of more than a thousand unmarked graves of Indigenous children. In his Canada Day statement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged that July 1 is “not yet a day of celebration.” “The horrific findings of the remains of hundreds of children at the sites of former residential schools in British Columbia and Saskatchewan have rightfully pressed us to reflect on our country’s historical failures,” he added. In 1942, when Korea was under Japanese rule, Japan founded a facility for children, the Seongam Academy, which was similar to residential schools. On July 1, 1963, a newspaper in Korea published an article about the academy. As major news media companies of Canada publish articles criticizing Canada Day celebrations and pointing out the troubled past of residential schools, some members of the Korean community in Vancouver did not welcome our article of June 25, 2021, about the colonial harms inflicted upon Korean people under Japanese rule. “We as Canadians must be honest with ourselves about our past,” Trudeau said.
PRINT - The Korea Daily (Daily) - Vancouver, 01/07/2021 - ARTICLE, Korean
This year’s Canada Day is very different - Chinese
Description: No Byline - The Canada Day celebrations have been more subtle this year, as Canadians were forced to reflect on how they have treated those who had lived here previously, and how to go about this in the future. Canada is considering new approaches to interact with the Indigenous people and newcomers to Canada. The editor asked: “How did we reach this point?” The residential school system held 150,000 Indigenous, Inuit, and Metis children in conditions that constitute cultural genocide. To date, the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission has determined information of more than 4,100 children who died in the residential school system. However, the exact number is still unknown. Although the terrible reality of the residential school system has always been part of Canada's past, Canada's unbearable history became the focus of attention once again after remains were found at the old site of a school in recent weeks. The federal government is also under pressure from various groups to implement the call to action outlined in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report. The relationship between the Indigenous people and Canada is not the only issue that requires reflection. Some Canadians have suffered racism and discrimination for their entire lives. Incidents involving anti-Chinese immigration laws, Japanese internment camps, the Komagata Maru tragedy, and the murder of Muslim Canadians are all stains on Canada's history. Many communities and governments are calling for the cancellation of Canada Day celebrations after the discovery of the children's remains.
WEB - Vansky (Daily) - Vancouver, 01/07/2021 - ARTICLE, Chinese
Indigenous leader and NCCC urged to reflect on history and admit mistakes - Chinese
Description: No Byline - As Canada Day is approaching, Howard E. Grant, executive director of the First Nations Summit (FNS), and Cai Hongan, executive chairman of the National Congress of Chinese Canadians (NCCC), held a joint press conference on June 30 to express concern and position on the discovery of the unmarked graves in residential school sites in British Columbia and Saskatchewan. Cai pointed out that this year's Canada Day is a time for Canadians to remember and reflect on the history of our Indigenous people. We need to understand the history of the Indigenous people, recognize Canada's historical mistakes, and strive to maintain fairness, justice, and seek truth and reconciliation. Cai said: "The NCCC stands with our Indigenous friends and cherishes the memory of the loved ones they lost in their misery, especially their missing women and children, as well as the large numbers of unexplainable deaths. This is a sad and challenging time for the whole of Canada." Cai recalled: “When the Chinese suffered severe injustice and discrimination in Canadian history, it was the Indigenous people who treated us equally and gave us warmth and comfort. The Indigenous people sincerely showed their sympathy and friendship to the Chinese. We will never forget this kind of virtue." Chief Grant expressed sadness over the discovery of more than 180 remains at the residential school site in British Columbia. Grant is of half Chinese descent. His father was from Zhongshan, Guangdong. He believes that the important thing now is to let new and young Canadians understand the true history of Canada.
WEB - Van People (Daily) - Vancouver, 01/07/2021 - ARTICLE, Chinese
Without victory, we will die without a place to rest in peace - Chinese
Description: North American Report - On June 23, hundreds of unmarked graves were found on the site of another Indigenous residential school in Canada. With so many Christian-operated residential schools in Canada, the editor is curious how many people have been killed? The editor said as long as people light a candle, donate a pair of shoes, and chant a few slogans at a rally, they can be redeemed from their sins. Does that mean these people are noble and can now talk about human rights? Back in the days when white people colonized Indigenous land, drove out and murdered Indigenous people, and sent their children to residential schools, they called this act “civilization’s salvation from barbarism”. This was also done to the Chinese as well. Back in the days, Christian churches in Wuhan, Fuzhou, and Shanghai also called it “civilization’s salvation from barbarism”. The White Christian civilization truly displays unprecedented arrogance and brutality. From the Crusades to modern colonialism, they slaughtered and enslaved blacks, Indigenous people, and Asians. In their view, we all need their “salvation”. The Canadian Indian Act of 1876 stipulated that Indigenous children must attend residential schools, and this "genocide" policy was active until the 1990s. In these schools, there were widespread abuses and murders, resulting in the death of a large number of children. The editor said that fortunately, the Chinese did not fall like the Indigenous people. The editor is thankful for the Chinese warriors who fought in each generation. Because of their commitment, we have an advanced and strong Chinese people, which led to the formation of the Chinese Communist Party and People’s Republic of China that are committed to defeating imperialism and its supporters. They have ripped off the masks of Christians, and used guns to tell them what is “equality”, “justice”, and “truth”. But this is not enough! Before true equality is achieved, we must fight for another hundred years. Without victory, we will not be able to rest in peace. https://info.vanpeople.com/1225045.html
WEB - Van People (Daily) - Vancouver, 04/07/2021 – ARTICLE, Chinese
Canada entres 155th year of Confederation - Punjabi
Today, Canada is entering the 155th year of its Confederation, amid the great suffering of Indigenous communities. This year's celebrations include the sobs of anonymous children found underground in residential schools and other families, which is why the country's national flag is still hoisted at half-mast. Sharing the grief of Indigenous families, Radio Red FM extended greetings on Canada Day to all of its listeners. Meanwhile, there has been another discovery of human remains in unmarked graves at the site of a former residential school in B.C. The ground-penetrating radar revealed 182 human remains in unmarked graves at the site of the old St. Eugene’s Mission Residential School in Cranbrook, B.C. The finding follows the discovery of the estimated remains of 215 people at the site of a former residential school in Kamloops and an estimated 751 unmarked graves at the site of the Marieval Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan. Radio Red FM held a minute's silence to pay tribute to the children found buried at the sites of the former Indian Residential Schools and then played the National Anthem of Canada. Radio host Rishi Nagar also talked about Canadian history, and the Indian residential schools system and why these schools were established. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in his address on Canada Day said, "Whether it's finishing the fight against COVID-19, tackling the climate crisis, or walking the path of reconciliation, I know there is no challenge too great, if we face it together." Trudeau further said, "The progress we’ve made as a country didn’t happen by accident, and it won’t continue without effort. So as we celebrate this place we call home and the people we share it with, let’s recommit to building a better future - for everyone."
RADIO - Red FM 106.7 Good Morning Calgary (Daily) - Calgary, 01/07/2021 - FEATURE, Punjabi
'Canada also did these things, don’t find an excuse to criticize China' - Chinese
Description: Star Net - The CBC and National Post reported on June 29 that Independent Chinese-Canadian Senator of British Columbia Yuen Pau Woo pointed out in the Canadian Senate on June 28 that Canada should avoid using the so-called "human rights issue in Xinjiang" as an excuse to criticize China, because Canada has committed genocide in its short history. Just one month before Woo's speech, nearly 1,000 unmarked graves were discovered in the sites of two former Indigenous residential schools in Canada. An estimated 150,000 Indigenous children were forced to attend these schools to learn "culture and civilization" between the 1890s and 1990s, and they suffered abuses during their attendance. CBC described Woo’s speech as "provocative." According to CBC, Woo said in his speech that Canada's severe condemnation of China's actions was hypocritical and "just simply placing a label.” According to reports, Conservative Senator Leo Housakos previously proposed a bill requiring the Canadian Senate to “recognize that the People’s Republic of China is currently carrying out genocide against Uyghurs and other Muslims” and demanded that the International Olympic Committee "ban Beijing from hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics and change the venue to another country." Woo recently called on the senators not to pass the bill and said that handling relations with big countries is very complicated and cannot be dealt with through a one-time statement. "China does not agree with our views on individual freedom, and we cannot use our interpretation of freedom in the Charter to teach the Chinese what to do," said Woo. He added that the Chinese would be shocked by some policies in Canada, such as legalizing medically assisted dying. https://info.vanpeople.com/1223826.html
WEB - Van People (Daily) - Vancouver, 30/06/2021 - ARTICLE, Chinese
Chinese-Canadian senator: Canada is not qualified to criticize China on human rights issues - Chinese
Description: No Byline - According to a CBC report, Yuen Pau Woo, a Chinese-Canadian senator from British Columbia, said in a fierce speech in the House of Commons on Monday that Canada should avoid criticizing China for violating the human rights of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang because our country has abused Indigenous people. Echoing the arguments put forward by Chinese officials at the United Nations last week, Woo said that China’s policy towards Xinjiang’s Muslim minorities is similar to Canada's colonialism against Indigenous peoples. He said that Canada’s severe condemnation of Asian countries was hypocritical and “simply an act to attach labels.” Woo said that Canada accused China of mass arrests of Uyghurs, forced sterilization of Muslim women and forced relocation of their villages on charges of “terrorism.” However, in reality, Canada, “a country with such a short history, did all of these things. Not only is the historical treatment of Indigenous people appalling, even newcomers and non-Canadian minorities feel unwelcome and regarded with suspicion.” Woo was appointed to the Senate by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in 2016. He recently urged senators to reject a motion by the Conservatives which condemned China's genocide against Turkic minorities. Woo pointed out that statements like these will further damage the already very tense relations between Canada and China.
WEB - CFC NEWS (Daily) - Ottawa, 30/06/2021 - ARTICLE, Chinese
All about residential schools and the tragedy of Canada's indigenous peoples - Polish
Description: Malgorzata P. Bonikowska - Editor-in-chief Malgorzata Bonikowska says the history of the Indigenous people touched her deeply since she came to Canada in 1990 and that is why for years, she has been following everything related to the indigenous people of her second homeland - Canada. Since 2015, when the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada released an Executive Summary of its findings along with 94 calls to action regarding reconciliation between Canadians and Indigenous peoples, the cultural genocide of Indigenous, Inuit and Métis people is known or at least should be known to the people of Canada. If you did not know about it and you live here, it means that you were not interested in it. A comment by a reader states that when he came to Canada in 1982, he was shocked to find out about the Charles Camsell Hospital in Edmonton, a “special” hospital for the Indigenous people where the Indigenous people were mistreated and were part of medical experimentation. The reader says he loves Canada, his second homeland, but he insists the Canadian government investigate and punish the guilty.
WEB - Gazeta (Daily) - Toronto, 30/06/2021 - ARTICLE, Polish