Niagara Falls group wants to paint the city orange for a week


Published July 12, 2021 at 8:24 pm


While September 30 is well-known as Orange Shirt Day meant to bring together Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in the spirit of reconciliation to honour Indian residential school survivors and their families, one Niagara Falls group is hoping to extend it to a full week.

In a letter to be presented tomorrow night (July 13) at City Council, Josh Bieuz-Yasyszczuk, Coordinator of NiagaraGives, is hoping the City will officially make it a full week from September 30 to October 6.

“Given the most recent discovery of an additional 751 unmarked graves at the Marieval Residential School site in Saskatchewan,” said Bieuz-Yasyszczuk in his letter, “it is now more evident than ever that much more work must be done to help reconcile with our Indigenous and First Nations brothers and sisters.”

Bieuz-Yasyszczuk is asking that Mayor Jim Diodati and City Council will work off of Orange Shirt Day and turn it into Residential School Remembrance Week.

“I believe that one single day of remembrance for this terrible and tragic genocide that Canada helped perpetrate is not enough,” Bieuz-Yasyszczuk continued.

Bieuz-Yasyszczuk is urging the local government to consider his request “and remember the exuberant debt we owe to Indigenous and First Nations peoples; people who we historically have mistreated, yet whom have time and time again come to our aid.”

He said the War of 1812, largely fought on Niagara Region lands “comes to mind.”

Councillors will receive his request in their correspondence tomorrow night. Should one choose to do so, they must then draw it up as an official motion, which must be seconded by another councillor beyond it can hit the council table.

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