PHOTOS: Canada Day: Pride and resentment on display at BC Legislature

Thousands wave Canadian flags for the camera during the formation of living flag on the lawn of the BC Legislature on Monday. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Thousands wave Canadian flags for the camera during the formation of living flag on the lawn of the BC Legislature on Monday. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Victoria student Becky Chang strikes a pose in front of the BC Legislature building on Monday during the 2019 Canada Day celebrations. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Chelsea Mekelburg, 6, from Victoria, holds still while her face is painted during Canada Day celebrations on Belleville Street and the front lawn of the BC Legislature building Monday. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Evania Xing, 11, from Victoria (left) and Anna Dixon, 11, from Cincinnati, Ohio (right), used their hairdos to show Canada some love on its 152nd birthday. The pair were celebrating Canada Day on the front lawn of the BC Legislature building on Monday. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
A woman holds a sign on the front lawn of the BC Legislature building during Canada Day festivities on Monday. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Wraven Sibbesdon says he wants Canadians to take an honest look at Canada’s history of colonization, and how it continues to impact First Nations today. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Le-La-La dancers from Kwakwaka’wakw First Nation performed out front of the Royal BC Museum during Canada Day festivities at the BC Legislature building on Monday. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
To celebrate Canada’s 152nd year since confederation, thousands enjoyed food trucks, live music, activities and more near Victoria’s Inner Harbour and the BC Legislature building. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
‘Lola’ was one of many Canadian canines wearing their best red and white garb for Canada Day on Monday. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Miri Reuther (left) and Vera Hartley (right), both from Germany, enjoyed a true Canadian treat from the L’Authentique Poutine and Burgers food truck on Belleville Street during Canada Day celebrations on Monday. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
A group of friends from Japan and South Korea have all been in Canada less than a year, but were happy to show their Canadian spirit outside the BC Legislature building on Monday. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Patrick Reid, Chelsea Lefebvre and Christina Bird showed off their red and white outside the BC Legislature building on Monday. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
The final ‘living flag’ created by thousands in red and white t-shirts. (Twitter/@Coast_Capital)

Thousands of people in red and white t-shirts were herded into the shape of the Canadian flag on the front lawn of the BC Legislature building Monday.

From the ground, the all-ages participants patiently moved this way and that, until finally, the living flag spectacle was complete – a living representation honouring 152 years of Canada’s post-confederation existence.

READ ALSO: Packed Canada Day in Sidney sees parade, dog show and a helicopter rescue

READ ALSO: Sooke celebrates Canada’s 152nd birthday

Meanwhile, at the Royal BC Museum, the Le-La-La dancers, of Kwakwaka’wakw First Nation performed traditional dances for the public, at one point inviting them to join in a circle dance.

And while visitors and locals alike celebrated Canada with food trucks, bouncy castles, face painting, live music and performances, a small group moved onto the front lawn of the legislature. One man banged a drum, singing the Canadian anthem with satirical emphasis, while another danced, a Canadian flag with the words, “Still Stolen” graffitied on it in black.

“We’re here representing the youth who are, daily, struggling with the effects of colonization and struggling with the ongoing genocide against Indigenous peoples.” said Wraven Sibbesdon. “We are feeling underrepresented and wanting to have our voices heard.

READ ALSO: What’s in a name? How Canada’s national birthday as we know it came to be

“It’s a very hard thing for us to try and celebrate Canada…we are so hard pressed to find true reconciliation work being done when there is still over 50 reserves without drinking water…when the Trans Mountain pipeline was approved…Before the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Womens Inquiry came out [and] reported that Canada is in fact, committing an ongoing genocide against Indigenous peoples.

To come and celebrate today, like it’s all good, I think is a total farse.”



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

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