Pabineau First Nation Chief: Using Canada Day to reflect, the right thing to do

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The Chief of the Pabineau First Nation near Bathurst says cancelling Canada Day celebrations this year is the right thing to do, as the country grapples with the discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves near former residential schools in Saskatchewan and BC.

Officials from the Cowessess First Nation announced the discovery of 751 unmarked graves yesterday, just weeks after 251 unmarked graves were announced in British Columbia.

Communities across the country, including Bathurst, have cancelled Canada Day celebrations in favour of a day of reflection in solidarity with Indigenous people.

Pabineau Chief Terry Richard says that's the true meaning of reconciliation and understanding the pain First Nations people are experiencing.

Richardson says he served the country for 25 years in the Canadian Forces, but adds this is not a year to celebrate.

Instead, he says it's one that should be used as an opportunity to reflect and mourn the loss of so many First Nations youth.

Richardson says the City of Bathurst is doing the right thing by standing with, not only the Pabineau First Nation, but all Canadian First Nations communities.

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