The Rankin Inlet fire department says it won’t lead a Canada Day parade through the Kivalliq community this year. (File photo by Sarah Rogers)

Rankin Inlet Canada Day parade cancelled

‘No one feels like celebrating Canada right now,’ fire chief says; Iqaluit council to consider new approach Tuesday

By Sarah Rogers

The Rankin Inlet fire department says it won’t lead a Canada Day parade through the Kivalliq community this year, instead calling on the federal government to take action on the harmful impacts of residential schools.

“No one feels like celebrating Canada right now,” fire chief Mark Wyatt said.

The discovery of the remains of 215 children at the Kamloops Residential School in May triggered “widespread grief and anger” for local firefighters, who play an active role in event planning in the Nunavut community of about 3,000, he said.

“A number of our firefighters said they didn’t want to participate. Until the federal government takes some serious action, we don’t feel that now is the time to celebrate.”

The Rankin Inlet fire department typically leads the annual parade with its fire trucks decorated in Canada flags and red and white balloons, he said. The fire trucks are followed by other vehicles from the community.

Wyatt pointed to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 calls to action, many of which have yet to be addressed by Ottawa.

While the community’s firefighters are a younger group, largely in their twenties, Wyatt said most have relatives who attended residential school in Rankin Inlet or in neighbouring communities in the 1960s and 1970s.

“An awful lot of them have been impacted by intergenerational trauma as a result of residential schools,” he said.

“It’s impacted us in so many ways. Nunavut has the highest rate of suicide in the country, and we can trace that back [to residential schools].”

Meagan Netser, a lieutenant with the fire department, was a vocal advocate for boycotting this year’s Canada Day festivities.

Netser said she herself was the victim of abuse at the hand of an ex-spouse, who grew up in an abusive household with a residential school survivor.

She said the recent discovery of children’s remains makes her feel “ashamed” of the country she grew up in. Netser hopes the fire department’s message will resonate with other Indigenous communities and elected officials.

“I’m hoping that they will see this and see the resentment that most Indigenous people have against the Canadian government,” she said.

“I’m also hoping for the government to try and make amends with Indigenous people and prove to us that history will not repeat itself.”

The fire department was still moving ahead with plans to lead the National Indigenous Peoples Day parade Monday evening, as well as Nunavut Day festivities in July.

The fire department said it hasn’t decided yet if it will host the Canada Day parade in future years.

But Rankin Inlet’s firefighters say the community support for its decision to boycott the parade this year has been largely positive.

Victoria, B.C., and a couple other western cities have announced their own plans to cancel fireworks displays and other Canada Day festivities this year, saying those activities would be a setback to reconciliation efforts.

Iqaluit city council will decide at a meeting Tuesday night how to approach Canada Day events in Nunavut’s capital, after its recreation staff suggested a new approach this year.

“There remains for many Nunavummiut an ongoing contentious relationship with the Crown,” the department wrote in a request for decision on the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting.

“The recreation department is seeking direction from council on alternatives to the typical Canada Day celebrations. As a municipal department, we feel strongly that we have an obligation to be sensitive to the general climate of our residents.”

As an alternative, the department suggested it could host a memorial or vigil, or Inuit cultural activities on July 1.

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(72) Comments:

  1. Posted by why u dum on

    a shame really, perhaps you all could clebrate July 4 instead

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    • Posted by .. on

      We have the 9th of July to celebrate its called Nunavut Day. If you were in our shoes you’d understand. Maybe if you were taught about residential schools in school you’d have a clue on why we’re doing this and not celebrating this stupid day where Canada did really wrong to the indigenous people.

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      • Posted by Consistency on

        Well, by your own standards I guess Nunavut Day has to be cancelled too. In the olden days, when life was very hard, Inuit practiced infanticide, child marriage, and would give children away to be servants (this happened openly up until relatively recently!). If we are to judge the past people of Nunavut according to the same harsh standards today’s activists apply to others, then there should be no Nunavut Day either.

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        • Posted by Consistency on

          Just wanted it known that the above comment is not from the normal user of the name Consistency

        • Posted by Even More Consistent on

          Perhaps National Indigenous People’s Day should have also been cancelled. Indigenous people in today’s Canada consistently engaged in warfare prior to European contact, often to steal material goods, acquire slaves, or gain access to resources/territory. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Or how about the Bloody Falls massacre, the killing of Inuit because of conflict between Dene and Inuit? Should we really celebrate a National Indigenous People’s Day in light of all this?

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      • Posted by Start the Recall on

        The offensive and insensitive behaviour of this Wyatt character need to be called out.
        It is problematic in the extreme. Can he be recalled?

        To be clear, this man in no way speaks for me, or the majority of true Canadians. Celebrate Canada Day! Do it wit an understanding of our history, but reject cancel culture at all costs.

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        • Posted by No Moniker on

          Here is an interesting comment. Notice it begins with ‘start the recall’ and ends with ‘reject cancel culture at all costs.’

          Some might detect a profound lack of self-reflection here.

          Either way it demonstrates an important point; while ‘cancel culture’ is indeed a thing, it can manifest at multiple points along the political spectrum—or as some might say, on the right as well as the left.

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          • Posted by Not Cancel Culture, Just Good Public Management on

            Recalling a public servant for insubordinate behaviour such as this is not “cancel culture”, it is maintaining accountability for our services.

            I’d think that Mark’s superiors will have a lot of sharp questions for him. They may support pausing Canada Day this year, but he was clearly insubordinate in the way he approached the issue. They would be well within their rights to discipline him.

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            • Posted by No Moniker on

              Was this subordination though? Can you demonstrate that?

              • Posted by How Is It Not on

                How is it not? A mere fire chief doesn’t decide on public holiday celebrations – that is the job of the mayor and council.

                • Posted by No Moniker on

                  Well, according to the article they didn’t cancel the parade or the celebration, they only said they won’t lead it. On the other hand the headline says differently.

                  Dear Nunatsiaq you should clear this up. At least talk to the mayor.

                  Either way, I have mixed feelings over this, and lean toward not liking the decision, but you can’t make people participate in a celebration that goes against their conscience.

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      • Posted by Someone else on

        I think you underestimate what others understand. But anyhow – does this mean you think Nunavut should reject Canada, and forgo transfer payments? Go back to the old ways? I don’t think anyone wants that.

        With respect, had you kept up with this stuff, you would have known about these graves (and others), which are on the reserve in sight of indigenous people’s homes. We would do well to wait to learn about this.

        The graves are at least 50 years old, and it could be all of them are be much older than that. For example, it’s possible the last burial there is 80 years old, after various epidemics. How long do wooden crosses last where you live. In the white cemetery across the river from the Kamloops IRS, there are 245 unmarked graves that were forgotten until the cemetery was reclaimed. The few stones there were are embedded in a concrete slab. It’s a cemetery where whites were buried. The last burial was in 1901.

        These graves were known at one time, and they were probably marked. They have probably been forgotten during the last 50 to 70 years. If that’s true, it doesn’t change the very negative experiences many had in the schools (including in this school). It doesn’t change the fact disease took lives because of dorms, and because there wasn’t a way to isolate those who were ill, or that poor nutrition may have played a role, or how all of that has affected many, many lives. But, I don’t see the point of telling the story the way it is being told today before we understand the truth as far as possible, especially given what is known about ground penetrating radar. As you know, it only makes the whole thing more painful for everyone. But then, maybe that’s the point.

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      • Posted by A Good Reason to Celebrate on

        July 9th, a day to celebrate Canada’s creation of Nunavut and Nunavut’s diverse people’s. A day we should all be proud of.

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        • Posted by Pro Canada on

          Unless you are non Inuk, and a southern transient worker, then you can go back home.

    • Posted by boris pasternak on

      I am a Canadian first and foremost, I even serve my country as former military personnel in my younger days, I will never really turn my back on this country. But no grave yards, no names, not even crosses. What kind of institution is this?

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      • Posted by Say What? on

        Ummm, never dealt with the Catholic church before, have you? Not an organization that a reasonable person would have anything to do with.

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    • Posted by boris pasternak on

      Heartless spoken really, if it was you, you probably be first in line to complain. People were really hurt and abused, this is real stuff. I am putting you in the same category as those who dug the graves at the residential sites. I love Canada but I will not participate in festivities and I will never disgrace our flag. It’s people like you mouthing off that turns good Canadians to monsters.

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  2. Posted by Cancel Culture on

    The death of these children, or anyone at the residential schools is a horror that can never be recovered from.

    The extremists now want Canada to be boycotted, all while enjoying the privilege’s they receive from the Government. I celebrate Canada day for the health care, and freedoms I received. I am not celebrating the deaths of children or indigenous groups. Reconciliation will never be over.

    If your neighbor decides to celebrate Canada day, respect their values as you expect them to value yours.

    Burning flags, and committing treason is no better then the acts done to their poor kids and their families.

    The atrocities committed by the federal government can never be fully realized by anyone as long as we continue to be so divided as a country.

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    • Posted by It’s not all someone else’s fault on

      “Atrocities” were committed against children by Inuit (just as they are in every other ethnic groups) before the federal government even existed, and they persist to this day. Inuit are flawed humans just like every other ethnicity on earth. Pretending all problems stem from some people having gone to residential school for a few decades is not helping anyone, and especially not the kids of today whose problems are ignored while everyone focuses on the problems of a century ago that cannot be fixed.

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    • Posted by Extrene miuch on

      Are you serious? No one is burning flags and committing treason.
      Even if people were burning flags, that is not as bad as killing children!

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      • Posted by Burn on

        No, but burning Catholic churches is ok? Two cases of Arson last night in BC, the sheep will follow the example.

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        • Posted by Big deal on

          I disagree, I think a vast many non-indigenous Canadians understand the burning of these buildings. I certainly do. These buildings are nothing compared to the loss of real life.

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          • Posted by Churchgoer on

            So now we should all be vigilante’s and dish out our own punishment to someone who has wronged us? What is the goal? To kill the church goers? Self satisfaction or revenge? Eye for an eye now? Let’s just make everything legal and have no rules or laws, let everyone do whatever they want. Oh right, but if they don’t agree with the leftists don’t bother because you are automatically wrong.

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            • Posted by Big Deal on

              I am indifferent to the loss of these churches, to say the least.

              So, your leap to the killing of churchgoers is a little extreme, don’t you think?

              For me at least, church goers are among the victims of the lies and mindwashing of the church. They deserve pity above anything.

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              • Posted by Spirituality on

                To call anyone’s spirituality journey an outright lie and doesn’t make you any more righteous, or correct. Part of accepting equality is accepting people’s views, and beliefs. What makes your spirituality any more correct or important than any other religion? Your religion is not ‘better’ then mine, and if you cannot accept that YOU are part of the problem.

                To say “All Catholics are evil”, “All police are murderers”, and such blanket statements are so broad and vague they are incorrect. If I was to believe half the garbage people throw out as insults today, we would have disbanded all forms of law, governance, policing, capitalism, socialism, and ANY and ALL labels; where it is about my gender, race, or religion.

                Yes my ancestors made mistakes, yes your ancestors made mistakes, yes we continue to make mistakes. Everybody is offended by everything, and every single wrong that we find in the past must be put on a pedestal and ostracize anyone who has ever made a mistake. Society continues down a road where we spend more time fighting for the sake of fighting instead of striving to ALL be better people. Instead of passing around the blame, lets all accept our part, and all strive to be better people.

                We all can help by being there for our friends, families, coworkers who have experienced this trauma. Offer to be there and support them, what can you do for them to help? Orange profile pictures on Facebook, do absolutely nothing to help. Lobby your MLA, MP, and demand action to rectify all the unidentified souls, and to continue searching until we find every last lost child. Or we can continue to fight on the comment section, let’s face it, 99% of us will do absolutely nothing constructive to help.

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          • Posted by Someone else on

            Both churches were still used. One only for special occasions. The other had an active congregation some of whom cried to see it burn. They said they were said because they remembered as children signing hymn in their own language with their grandparents. Like it or not, there are a lot of Catholics among the aboriginal population.

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    • Posted by boris pasternak on

      It’s not the government in this case, it’s the Vatican and it world wide churches. Canada may not be the only country with atrocities committed by this institution abusing children in all forms. So the residential school era is coming to light, atrocities will be reveal. On the bitter side; maybe the fathers and the priests should be allow to get married to Lessing many church fathers/priests/cardinals of being sexual predators. So 1 billion faithful could be wrong? When absolute power corrupts; it corrupts absolutely? I am not picking on this institution, but over the years, this block was on the world wide with so much negativity in the news.

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  3. Posted by Get a grip on

    I really think that people need to get a grip and gain some perspective on Canada. Canada isn’t perfect by any means but it’s done good things that are worth celebrating. Canada created Nunavut which, in turn, created many good jobs for Inuit in Rankin and elsewhere. Because of Nunavut, Inuit who are the majority govern themselves and control their destiny. Our Premier and Cabinet are Inuit, and that’s a pretty darn good thing, and that’s all thanks to Canada and Canada’s spirit of generosity.

    As for residential schools, Canada has recognized for many years that they were an instrument of cultural genocide. Many of us remember Prime Minister Harper’s emotional public apology in the House of Commons behalf of Canada, and what that meant for everyone in terms of reconciliation. Finally, let’s not forget the millions of dollars that Canada has paid to residential school survivors in compensation for their legitimate claims. Canada did not deny these claims and choose to fight them in court. Instead, it created a fair settlement process so that survivors could more easily get the compensation they deserve.

    Not bad for a country we call Canada. Not perfect. But not bad. Let’s keep our perspective and celebrate it. We deserve it.

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  4. Posted by thanks for being the voice of the community I guess on

    Throw out the Baby with the bathwater…
    And this will accomplish what exactly? Bring awareness? Everyone is already aware and right now because of a year long Covid-19 shutdown are looking for things to celebrate. I’m part of Canada and want to celebrate the many good things that have come out of our nation. The medical breakthroughs, the technological advances, the scientific discoveries, our pilots, our tradespeople, sports achievements (Tootoo), our music icons (Aglukark).
    Why are we as a community boycotting a Day to remember all the good that we as a nation have become. Sure there are things (horrendous things) that our history has shown to not be in line with what our country stands for. But if we start boycotting all our celebration because of history we wont have anything to celebrate (i.e. boycott parks day because there is deforestation, boycott Hamlet days because of forced relocation to our community, boycott dog races because the RCMP killed our sled dogs).
    What exactly is the fire department proving? Are they protesting? Bringing awareness? Are they going to instead set-up a both and give out information for the public? Obviously the Community can’t have a parade now that it’s made news, because a handful of individuals have guilted the community into not having one. If we do one now will we be ostracized because of the fire department?
    I am a part of what Canada stands for as a nation. I will take it with the good, the bad, and the ugly and do my part as a Canadian citizen to remember, celebrate the achievements that deserve celebration and to continue to make it better.
    YOU DO YOU!!!

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  5. Posted by Division on

    Letting the activists tear people apart rather than bring them together is not going to benefit anyone other than the grievance industry.

    The past wasn’t perfect for any ethnic group, folks. The world is a super complicated place, and always was. Isolated ethnic groups had tons of their own problems before they met and interacted with people of other ethnicities.

    Not every piece of activist spin is true, either, no matter how righteous it feels. There is a reason why they latch onto narratives where most or all of the people involved are deceased. They can control the story without anyone left to mention that things might not have gone exactly how they say they did.

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  6. Posted by jn on

    Yes let us celebrate Canada, a country that is independent and free and the country that other people from countries that go thru horrible things want to live in. Not a country of war amongst its people, where people can go (once the pandemic is able to be controlled) places without hiding from the violence of war. Just want to live in harmony, like the old days, as my father once said.

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  7. Posted by this on

    Deuteronomy 24:16 “Fathers shall not be put to death because of their children, nor shall children be put to death because of their fathers,” there are generational consequences of our sin that affect those close to us. Although we are not responsible for the sins of our fathers (parents) or children we must ensure we are not influenced by them to sin likewise and learn from their mistakes.

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  8. Posted by pissed off on

    It is commendable to feel concerned about the issue of the dead children at this moment.

    But let`s try not to put everything in the same bowl. Some people went to high school in their own communities ( EX: Gordon Robertson High School ) and some people want to assimilate that with the situation in the 1850 s.
    Come on !!!!

    On the other hand if you feel so strongly against the current Federal Government ,
    You should try to understand having in mind the difficulties of those days and not with the eyes of Today with our tremendous means of transport and communications .

    And if all that fails you should return to Ottawa all the benefits that flow directly in your pockets from that same institution and go at it alone.

    Thganks

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  9. Posted by Paradigm Shift on

    As a Rankin resident I am curious what the opinions of the rest in the community are on this. If there is a consensus that celebrations should not proceed this year, then I would not argue against that. So be it. On the other hand, is this just the opinion of one or two loud voices that have been amplified and seem to represent the whole? It would be interesting to know, and I wish there had been some process by which the community was consulted prior to this.

    That said, I am not much for nationalism, but still think it should be noted that Canada is a better country today than it was in the past. Canada is a country that is realizing its own potential and perhaps its eventual greatness because it is capable of self reflection, self criticism, and self improvement. It is those qualities of our country that make it worth celebrating. I wonder, do we take those qualities for granted at times?

    There are other places in the world where the ugly past is buried and will remain buried for many years to come, perhaps forever. To bring attention to the past there would be to subject yourself to oppression, perhaps even death.

    Still, even in saying that we should also be able to understand the sense of pain, alienation and distance from the idea of ‘Canada’ that has been felt and experienced by those who have been subjected to suffering and death in the name of assimilation into its ideals, without their consent and without any power or recourse against it.

    It will be a solemn year for Canada this year, regardless. For me it is still worth observation, but that is only one perspective. It understand that not everyone will feel that way.

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    • Posted by Whose Decision? on

      As a Rankin Inlet I’d think that you’d want to know what the mayor and council think of Mark Wyatt acting so out of turn and making a decision that isn’t his.

      • Posted by Paradigm Shift on

        Sure, it would be interesting to know. I suspect they support him in this, but don’t know.

        • Posted by Too Big? on

          They may indeed, but if her worked for me he’d be in a world of hurt for speaking to the press out of turn like this.

          He’s a big man in Rankin true, but he appears to have gotten to big for his britches.

  10. Posted by Mistake? on

    This was NOT a mistake on Canada’s part, it was a calculated cultural genocide on indigenous peoples of Kanata and surrounding lands to gain land for resources and lands that are fertile for farming, repeat, Not a mistake that Canada made, …….change my mind

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    • Posted by Pork Pie on

      To me it seems that we use the word mistake in this context to mean that the moral compass of those who perpetrated these crimes was clearly miscalibrated in a way that is completely unacceptable and unimaginable to us today. Their entire worldview was mistaken, which is to say they were wrong to think the way they did.

      Of course, what was done was not mistakenly done in the same way that something accidental is. It was intentional and these were clearly acts of erasure and assimilation.

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    • Posted by Mistake vs Accident on

      Somebody doesn’t seem to understand the definition of the word mistake. It was no accident, but it was a mistake.

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  11. Posted by Umingmak on

    Get a grip.

    Canada is a great country overall, and while, yes, the federal government (and their good friends the Catholic Church) has committed atrocities in the past, we are still incredibly lucky to live in this country and not in some backwater third world hole in the Middle East or Africa, where everyone is dirt poor, women aren’t even allowed to leave the house unless accompanied by their husband, and little girls have acid thrown in their faces simply for wanting an education.

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    • Posted by Consistency on

      What is happening in other countries is bad like the examples you gave, however just because it is worse somewhere else does not mean we should just forget what has happened here to our people.

      And taking a year to reflect some of the WRONG decisions that were made in the past this Canada Day is a good thing to do. perhaps next year we can all join together and celebrate the good things that Canada has done. But not this year.

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      • Posted by Thank You on

        Fortunately, you are not the decision maker on this issue for anyone but yourself, but thank you for sharing your opinion. I trust you will understand and respect the choice of others to celebrate in their own manner.

        As someone said elsewhere, “You do you”.

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        • Posted by Consistency on

          Your absolutely right that is it my opinion. and if my community has an event i will most likly go down and say hi to people as well. but I will not be upset if those that have the authority to make the decision decide to not hold any celebrations.

      • Posted by Cerb on

        The mines paid for Inuit staff to stay home for over a year, Trudeau implemented the CERB which record numbers of Nunavutmiuit cashed in, yet nothing good has happened this year to Celebrate? All the people who got paid to stay at home have an awful lot to celebrate, oh right, a lot of them did already at the Beer and Wine store. Guess everyone wants more handouts

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    • Posted by Everyone has their story ! (Kitikmeot) on

      I agree with Umingmak :
      All aboriginal people have to tell their stories, loud and free, wether it be about residential
      school, or by their own relatives. Let the truth be told.
      People from other cultures of the world, now living in Canada have exactly the same rights.
      Groups like MMIWG talk a lot against Canada and our Federal Government, why are they
      not investigating what is happening today in aboriginal communities today to young
      people ? What are they afraid off ?

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      • Posted by Crisis on

        It’s pretty simple, no one is willing to put in any hard work. It’s easier to complain after the tragedy and loss then it is to prevent it. Nunavut loses so many everyday to suicide, we have a crisis, every year we lose our children, brothers, sisters, to suicide. We hide it, keep it quiet, avoid it… Seems pretty similar to the residential school response. We are doing nothing to stop the next big threat to our fellow Nunavummiut. Our MP is too busy throwing out insults and getting likes and follows to be the change we needed.

        It is heartbreaking to wake up everyday, not knowing who else has lost their struggle today. I have buried, 4 family members in the last 8 months due to suicide. I know of absolutely no one who has not lost someone to suicide, yet we still do nothing. Why are 10 year old’s so desperate that they feel they have no way out??? Why do we wait until it’s too late to change things??

  12. Posted by itiswhatitis on

    If the Fire Department (as an organization) doesn’t want to participate in the parade that’s fine, but what gives them the right to cancel the parade outright? Does this organization (that has no real political power) really have a right to cancel a celebration of Canada activity?
    The fire Department is not the end-all-be-all for this event. The Municipal council may want to get the Fire Department in line if they think that they own the right to cancel an event such as a public parade.
    The Fire Department is 3-5 vehicles in a community parade that can have up to 100 cars and trucks both public, private and other groups involved.
    I’m a voting community member and a citizen of a great nation (Canada) and am now being dictated to by a Fire Department that has no authority to cancel anything.
    This kinda ticks me off!!! Like what if I decided that the after school club was gonna cancel the parade on Nunavut day just because we didn’t like something. This is totally stupid of the Fire Department. (They do a lot of good in the community but common really????)

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  13. Posted by which team? on

    What I would like to know is which team are the protesters are cheering for at the olympics this year. Or which team they are cheering for at the World Juniors. Canada may have done terrible things in the past, but choosing to hate Canada one day, and cheering them on another day, just to look good on social media, is just selfish.

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    • Posted by Aussie on

      The team with who wears the most BLM merch, and has the most LGB+ people, and the most minorities.

  14. Posted by whatever on

    That’s fine, skip Canada day celebration and give me a picnic basket and a cheque for $150 and I’ll go on my merry way. Recreation and Fire Department doesn’t have to plan anything; don’t need volunteers and I’ll spend the day celebrating Canada in my own way.
    Thanks for that.

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    • Posted by whatever2 on

      Heck, just give me a cheque for $1,000.00 and a couple picnic baskets once per year and we won’t need to celebrate anything again as a community. Can you imagine the savings for no Christmas games, no hamlet days, no Canada day, no Nunavut day… I can celebrate alone without the community, that’s fine. Why bother with any of them, there is always something bad happening to ruin a good thing.
      I have spoken so shall it be. 🙂 lol

  15. Posted by Old Timer on

    Just do a parade with out it we don’t need a fire truck in front.

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  16. Posted by Former Rankin Resident on

    Leadership is about bringing people together  – not dividing them. 
    The Rankin Inlet Fire Department has an opportunity to unite people and bring  awareness – and bring it loud – on Canada Day, perhaps by mounting flags or other notices on their leading vehicles. 
    Yes, there are regrets but there is so much more to be thankful for.  Just ask the newcomers or if it were possible,  the people who died for this country. 
    You’re fortunate to live in a country where you can protest its birthday.  How ironic.  
    While you’re at it, you should give back your trucks, gear, uniforms and so on, if that is not inconvenient for you.  The funding for your things came from the hamlet but indirectly from the federal government. 

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    • Posted by Ad Populum on

      While I am not in favour of this decision personally, I want to point out that in principle, leaders don’t, and shouldn’t, make decisions based solely on their popularity, granted they should try to build consensus.

      As for Mark, perhaps this decision was motivated by a strong consensus among the RIFD? I’m not sure but the story makes it appear that way.

  17. Posted by Rankin Inlet resident on

    It will feel odd without our annual canada day parade this year, but at the same time im ok with boycotting celebrating canada this year. I love my country, i think we live in one of the best countries in the world, I love our Nunavut Territory, i love my region and my hometown Rankin Inlet, any opportunity we have celebrating our country or territory, i am there. However, i am also a child of 2 parents who went to residential school (not by their or my grandparents choice, this was bonafidely (sp?) by force). I will not mention details but both my parents experienced so much trauma by watching what was being done to their child friends, and trauma from what was done to them and the toll it took on their marriage and trauma’s passed down to their children because by the age 6, they did not know parental love anymore, they were then introduced to violent raping “love” in school up till teenage years. And now the children found buried in unmarked graves throughout our country, i do not feel like celebrating Canada this year – so im glad there will be no parade for Canada in my town.
    But maybe we can have a parade for all the survivors (keep in mind too, they went to school and grew up and then fought back with the gov’t so us, their children will not have to leave their homes for school and use our NAMES, not E-#’s – they knew what was going on and they fought to keep the next generation home) and the children today who are now making positive changes and bit by bit, we are getting our language back, our voices back where we can now safely say “No, you cannot do that to me” without being kicked in the head or tortured in the basement.

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  18. Posted by The Old Trapper on

    After going through over a year of isolation, hardship, and worry we are just now coming to the point where we can resume a semblance of normality.
    .
    Yes we need to celebrate Canada Day. We weren’t the best at handling the pandemic, but we weren’t the worst either. Our nation bent but didn’t break and overall the vast majority of Canadians worked together to get us through.
    .
    We need to celebrate that we made it through this trying time, and we need to take a moment to remember those that were not as fortunate, those who lives were cut short by Covid-19, and their families and loved ones.
    .
    While we are doing this it would be appropriate this year to remember the thousands who attended residential schools, and the fear and horrors that some of them faced. We need to remember the children who left their families, left their communities, and perished. Take a moment to put yourself in their place, or in the place of their parents. Yes we need to remember the children who went to residential school and did not return, as well we need to remember those that were physically and mentally abused, and we need to ensure that this never happens again.
    .
    I do think that we need to have Canada Day, both to celebrate and for somber reflection.

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    • Posted by Who the people? on

      Old Trapper, I would like you to flesh out the “we” you are talking about here. Who are these “we”? Let’s be precise on this and make sure the context of this discussion is not lost in some larger abstraction about who “us” is. Can we do that?

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      • Posted by It Is Clear on

        It is clear, “we” means Canadians. If some don’t wish to participate, then don’t. Don’t cancel it for all just because of a small minority – such behaviour is offensive and insensitive.

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        • Posted by Who the people? on

          Canadians are a diverse group of people though. The idea that we can discern what “we” all need, as if membership implies a single mind, or singular needs in all places, seems more like projection that reality.

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      • Posted by The Old Trapper on

        “We” as used above means the majority of normal everyday Canadians, many of who have had a tough time, financially, physically, and mentally for the last year and a half.
        .
        I include male, female, young, old, aboriginal, native born, immigrant, straight, gay, bi, trans, poor, middle class, or upper class.
        .
        If you would like more details, I really don’t include the super rich, multimillionaires and billionaires in the above as most of them probably haven’t been inconvenienced in the slightest by the pandemic and have probably spent most of it on their yachts in the Caribbean, South Pacific, or maybe parked at Monaco.
        .
        I also don’t include the occasional pedantic a**hole that is sometimes found in the comments section of various websites.
        .
        The above comment was just my own opinion of course (isn’t everything here just someone’s opinion), and I’m sure that some of you will disagree. Fine, I can live with that.
        .
        I do plan on celebrating Canada Day, probably having a beer and maybe even a toke while I watch the flower and vegetable gardens grow. That is if it’s okay with you. /s

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        • Posted by Pedantic Asshole on

          Thanks for clearing that up, Old Trapper. I always appreciate your efforts.
          To the point.

          The number of people who feel uninspired at celebrating Canada this year is likely to increase tomorrow when the Cowessess First Nation will announce the discovery of substantially more unmarked graves at a residential school site in Saskatchewan. If you are able to take on their perspective, and I am sure you can, you’ll understand that they don’t feel much connection to “we who need to celebrate Canada.”

          I’m not among them, I would prefer to see a celebration too, like you.

          That said, let’s not tell them what they need or speak on their behalf.

          https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/cowessess-graves-unmarked-residential-school-marieval-1.6077797

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  19. Posted by Pre Canada on

    I have not bothered with Canada Day for a few year now. My people were here before the great invasion. I remember when Inuit were totally pro Canada. Promises are made too often and then broken. Or they don’t even bother with breaking part. Just forget them. I heard an Inuk man say this, “now that you have finished say your plan, you are finished with the whole thing.”

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  20. Posted by John W Paul Murphy on

    Just two questions,
    1. Who does the fire department work for? Does their employer support this? If not then order them to work.

    2. If celebrating Canada Day is not going to take place, why not cancel the holiday totally and have people back at work? July 1 this year is on a Thursday. Let’s save the employers a lot of expense.

    Let’s not further divde this great coutry by ignoring out past as (good and bad).

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    • Posted by Celebrations on

      That would mean most of those people would actual show up to work on a normal day, much less a holiday they don’t support.

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  21. Posted by JUSTIN MERRITT – Hamlet Councillor on

    Just for clarification , the recreation department contacted the fire Dept. to follow up as part of the Hamlet’s Canada Day celebrations this year , the Hamlet was informed that as a number of our volunteer fire dept. members had relatives that had been mistreated at residential schools and as a result this had affected their family lives., and that was the reason for no parade this year , The council discussed this at our meeting on June 15th and expressed our support for these volunteers for their decision. At the same time the council still decided to celebrate our country in spite of wrong decisions it has made in the past, Due to covid restrictions our celebrations will be limited like last year. We will give be giving out food packages next week to Rankin Inlet families as well as entering name of the family member into a draw for for gift certificates , I believe 12 – $250.00 and 24- $100.00 Cards. And we look forward to a full scale Canada Day Celebration next year as this Covid problem becomes less intrusive on our Community and at the same time remember those who suffered under this terrible residential school decision .

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  22. Posted by Well Informed on

    Wow. .. all this for a day of fun for the younger generation that never have to attend a residential school , kids are more internet informed then most average people like you and me. Going for a ride with other hundred riders is awesome

    You Canadians are lucky
    I have to pay to be a damn Canuck in Nunavut and all my counterparts are getting “PAID”! Why complain about a parade when you get paid…

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  23. Posted by Inuit stories on

    I am proud Inuk and I know a lot of Inuit stories that were shared to us when we were growing up. Northern lights, Kautjajuk, Arnasiutik (Hudson story when sealift arrives) -(we thought they were alians), Inugagullik, Ikuutajuuk, Kautjajuk all of these stories, they come with the meaning behind. Tamalik, orphaned, mentally impaired, basically anyone with “no value” to Inuit society were considered “less”. Inuit had many flaws and yet they were very intelligent group. Their belief were no different, treat people right or else you are doomed. Kautjajuk was an orphan kid, mistreated, he became a strong man. Even Luma, think about it, all of Inuit “fairytales” or are they fairytales? Or more of only scary stories, their hero’s are orphaned, “different” because Inuit were no different from mistreating one another.

  24. Posted by Uniformed on

    To anyone that is against boycotting Canada Day, think about this for a second: if your child was forcefully taken from you and forced to attend a school where culture, language, heritage were taken away from them, would you want to celebrate their birthday? Or if your child was kidnapped, would you celebrate the kidnappers birthday? Not very likely.

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    • Posted by perspective on

      Based on this reasoning we would cancel all Hamlet Day activities and celebrations.
      Do we celebrate that we were forcibly relocated to our communities? Do we celebrate that our sled dogs were killed to ensure that we didn’t leave our communities? Do we celebrate that we lost parts of our way of life because of community living?
      No of course not, that would be stupid. But do we remember those tragedies and learn from then to do better for the next generation? Do we celebrate our community accomplishments and what we have achieved together to get to where we are? Am I proud to be known to be from my community (you bet I am), even with all the past/history crap that has taken place in my community.

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    • Posted by Former Rankin Resident on

      To answer your question, no I would not and I’m not sure I could ever.  Moreover you would not be expected to. 

      But, you (your people) must overcome this evil.  You must. If you don’t it will continue hurting you and your generations to come. Inuit are a robust and resourceful people that have journeyed a long way in a brief time.  If anyone can overcome this evil, Inuit can. You are not alone. All of Canada is with you and the world is watching.  If you are unsure which direction to take, just keep moving – forward. You will find a way.  The Inuk will find a way. We are with you.

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