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Time to ‘reflect’: Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe on celebrating Canada Day

Click to play video: 'Saskatchewan premier says he respects decisions on Canada Day, will be celebrating but reflecting' Saskatchewan premier says he respects decisions on Canada Day, will be celebrating but reflecting
WATCH: Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe commented Tuesday regarding decisions of some provincial communities deciding to cancel or postpone Canada Day celebrations in response to the recent finding of an estimated 751 unmarked graves at a former residential school in the province and that he respected those decisions. He said he would be celebrating, but in a more "low-key" way, adding he would also spend time reflecting on what he sees as a great nation, but also recognizing there has been positive and "quite negative" history – Jun 29, 2021

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says he supports the decision of the communities choosing to cancel or postpone Canada Day this year, in wake of the unmarked graves recently discovered in the province.

He said he will be celebrating on July 1, but at the same time taking some time to reflect.

“On this Canada Day, in particular, I think I will also be reflecting much more than I have on other Canada Days as to our history — both our positive history in this nation, but also our history that is not so positive and quite negative,” Moe said.

Read more: ‘No pride’: Growing calls to cancel Canada Day amid residential schools discovery

Moe said the message moving forward has to be about respecting each other regardless of gender, sexual orientation or race.

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“We need to continue to respect one another, regardless of who we are, and to treat people with exactly the same degree of respect that we would hope to be treated with in return,” Moe said.

Referencing Chief Cadmus Delorme of the Cowessess First Nation’s comment about how residential schools are a result of a former generation and not necessarily the present during last week’s announcement of the estimated 751 unmarked graves on the former site of Marieval Indian Residential School, Moe said people today have the chance to better.

“We do have the opportunity as people of today, people of today’s generation, to determine how we act and how we move forward and move forward together as an inclusive society, as a respectful society,” Moe said.

Click to play video: 'Canada Day: Mixed feelings toward calls for reflection instead of celebration' Canada Day: Mixed feelings toward calls for reflection instead of celebration
Canada Day: Mixed feelings toward calls for reflection instead of celebration – Jun 28, 2021

“We also have a responsibility as community organizations, but I think most importantly as individuals … and educating ourselves on what Canada’s shared history is with our Indigenous people and non-Indigenous people and understanding that we need to do better as we move forward.”

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As of Monday, Melville along with Lac La Ronge Indian Band, La Ronge, Air Ronge, Wahpeton Dakota Nation, Meadow Lake and Flying Dust First Nation, all pressed pause on Canada Day.

Read more: Melville, Sask. postpones Canada Day in light of unmarked graves discovery at Marieval

Melville Mayor Walter Streelasky told Global News there will be events in the community, including fireworks and a parade, later this year.

“It’s not that we’re saying, no, not Canada Day, we’re saying let’s postpone this,” he said Monday.

Moe also said is supportive of community activist Prairie Crowe’s initiative of placing backpacks on the Saskatchewan Legislature for Canaday. Each backpack represents one of the unmarked graves.

— with files from Saba Aziz

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