Following the trend of respect shown across much of the country, the Town of Inuvik is making this year’s Canada Day a day of reflection and solemnity.
Internal discussions have been underway regarding how to acknowledge the national holiday in the wake of discoveries of mass graves from the residential school genocide. An email leaked to the Inuvik Drum reveals the planned schedule.
A ceremony is to be live-streamed from the Midnight Sun Complex at 11 a.m., with statements from representatives of each level of government and the raising of the flag on the Inuvik Fire Department’s ladder truck. The flag will then be lowered to half-mast. A moment of silence will follow and that will close the day’s Canada Day festivities. There will be no national anthem, or oher decorating contests at the site, however a drive-through barbecue will take place from 12 to 2 p.m. after the ceremony and children’s activities will be available to take home. Children will be able to register for a bike decoration contest, where they choose the theme, which will be completed at home.
The Town is encouraging anyone participating to wear orange to show respect for Truth and Reconciliation.
“We stand united for the survivors and those who did not make it home,” said Mayor Natasha Kulikowski.
Other organizations are planning gatherings to help people cope with the findings of mass graves. Inuvik Native Band is preparing for a tea and bannock gathering at its Cultural Gathering Space behind the band’s head office from 1 p.m. onward. Aurora Research Institute will have a gigantic map of Canada set up for people to explore, as well as paper airplane and mini put challenges. Anyone participating is asked to call 777-8640 to register. There will also be a family scavenger hunt from 2 to 4 p.m and a family trivia contest from 4 to 6 p.m. and a movie for children aged 6 to 13 will be shown from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Midnight Sun Complex.