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This year more than ever, Canada Day is a time for all Canadians "to show empathy, understanding and humility.
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Published Thursday, July 1, 2021

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff and wire services


For those who do not know about the celebration of the national day of Canada, the Canada Day is a federal holiday that celebrates the anniversary of the Canadian Confederation which occurred on July 1, 1867. That day was declared the Constitution Act, 1867 where the three separate colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick were united into a single Dominion within the British Empire called Canada.

Canada Day celebrations will be different this year because of recent discoveries at former residential school sites across the country.

Last week, an indigenous group in Canada said they found 751 unnamed graves at the site of the Marieval Indian Residential School, a former Catholic boarding school, in the province of Saskatchewan. This discovery comes weeks after the remains of 215 children were found at a similar school in British Columbia.

These mandatory boarding schools were run by the government and religious authorities during the 19th and 20th centuries with the aim of assimilating indigenous youth into Canadian culture.

According to the Canadian government statement, the findings of the unmarked graves of children on or near the grounds of former residential schools in different parts of the country are a shocking reminder of the oppression and violence perpetrated by Canada's colonial institutions against First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples.

"Acknowledging and raising awareness of the atrocities inflicted on Indigenous peoples is essential on the path to reconciliation," the government said in its statement. "Canadians stand with Indigenous communities across the country during this time of mourning."

This year more than ever, Canada Day is a time for all Canadians "to show empathy, understanding and humility. It is also an opportunity to educate ourselves, to reflect and to redefine our relationship with July 1st, while reaffirming our commitment to ending the systemic racism and discrimination faced by Indigenous peoples," they said.

This year Canadian expats living abroad are invited to join the celebration activities in a live broadcast.

The 2-hour program will take expats on a journey from Ottawa, Ontario, to Alberta, through Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Yukon, Manitoba, New Brunswick and North West Territories. "It will feature the artists and artisans who make our country a vibrant stage," the Canadian Heritage Office said in its statement.

The ceremony can be screened today on the Canadian Heritage's YouTube.  There is also the Canada Day Virtual Fireworks today, at 10 p.m. Canada Time (8 p.m. Costa Rica time).

Users will be asked to allow access to their camera and other device features to use this augmented reality application. This virtual celebration is supposed to be fun and an innovative experience that will make you feel as if you were there.

If you do not wish to allow this access, please refer to the video experience for desktop and laptop computer section. Fireworks will be displayed on the Canada Day site.

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What are your plans to celebrate Canada Day in Costa Rica?  We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com


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