Protesters gather in Saskatoon to demand Canada Day be cancelled
Advocates say national holiday ignores residential schools, colonial past
A large group of protesters gathered together in Saskatoon Wednesday afternoon to protest the country's national holiday.
More than 100 people carried signs and gave speeches at the city's Kiwanis Park, demanding that Canada Day be cancelled, due to the country's colonial past.
"Celebrating Canada Day is celebrating the genocide against Indigenous people that has been committed for the past 400 years," said protester Tanzy Janvier.
"Celebrating this every year for 153 years is extremely traumatizing for Indigenous people who were forcibly removed from their lands."
The protest was part of a larger conversation around Indigenous and racial inequity that has raged across the country for years.
Events opposing the celebration of Canada Day were also held across the country, from Vancouver to Halifax, including a live broadcast hosted by Idle No More.
"I don't feel that pride that I did as a child listening to O Canada, like I used to," said protest co-organizer Colleen Whitedeer.
"Now I feel shame. It's embarrassing and I feel we need to do more."
The group called for a wide range of changes, including massive reforms to the justice and health care system and to build a more just and equitable country.