Congratulations to the Mississauga Council and Peel Regional Council for giving themselves another paid holiday—September 30. Instead of taking the day off, it would have been better for them to be in office and have a member of our Indigenous Community spend the day educating them about the residential schools and the problems that Indigenous communities are facing today. Even though there weren’t any residential schools in Mississauga there is much that we need to learn about our past and how the future should look walking together. We are, after all, living on the land of Six Nations. They could learn how to spread information about the people who first lived here and what has happened to them. It would be interesting to see how many people who have the day off actually spend time reflecting on why they have the day off, or if it was used as a long weekend. We owe our Indigenous people so much more.
I couldn’t agree more. What good is a public holiday if the entire point of the holiday is missed. If there is one thing that the past few years have made glaringly obvious, it’s the widespread general amnesia of the residential schools and the continuous injustices committed against Indigenous People. It is one thing to simply know that Canada has committed genocide against Indigenous people, and another thing to actually understand it and move towards reconciliation. Simply hiding behind an orange shirt or sharing hashtags and tweets isn’t enough to educate oneself and our surrounding people on Indigenous history and culture. I think that the mere fact that only federal workers can enjoy the paid holiday, and that those that did take the holiday used it for entertainment rather than reflection, is offensive and disrespectful to the Indigenous community. This should either be a holiday for all, or, it should be a day dedicated to teaching and learning about Indigenous history from Indigenous people, instead of neglecting and ignoring them.
Thank you for writing and sharing your voice.
Aroni Sarkar, Opinion Editor