The federal government announced more funding for Fredericton’s Canada 150 community initiatives, largely focusing on Indigenous culture and reconciliation.
The funding was announced in Officers Square Saturday morning by Fredericton MP Matt DeCourcey with Fredericton North MLA Stephen Horsman and Fredericton Mayor Mike O’Brien.
The funding amounts to $418,000, with $250,000 going directly to the celebrations.
A Canada 150 3D sign was also officially unveiled, although it has been installed for some time already.
Three out of the four community initiatives that received funding were focused on Indigenous issues.
“[We’re] supporting four community organizations with significant grants to allow them to celebrate youth, diversity, inclusion, environmental stewardship and indigenous reconciliation,” said Fredericton MP Matt DeCourcey.
Missteps on Indigenous issues
The funding comes after a few missteps on Indigenous issues by the Trudeau government and some pushback from Indigenous communities over celebrating Canada 150.
Earlier this week the Trudeau Liberals announced that the old United States embassy across from Parliament Hill would become an Indigenous centre. That angered some Indigenous leaders who say they weren’t consulted about the move.
Earlier in the year a Mi’kmaq warrior chief from Elsipogtog First Nation called for a day of action to protest Canada 150.
“While we are struggling here and the government is spending millions of dollars on celebrating 150 years, think about the First Nations that are struggling and going without,” said Warrior Chief John Levi earlier this year.
DeCourcey said he welcomes discussions over the appropriateness of Canada 150 celebrations.
“I thinks it’s tremendously positive that that conversation take place. We need to recognize that we live on their traditional unceded territory,” said DeCourcey.
$15,000 for Treaty Day celebration
Some of the funding is going towards initiatives that have already taken place and weren’t explicitly about Canada 150.
The funding release lists $15,000 going to the St. Mary’s First Nation for a Treaty Day celebration that took place on June 4.
DeCourcey maintains that the Treaty Day celebrations are linked with the Canada 150 celebrations.
“We’re celebrating reconciliation with Indigenous people in the country and I think it was a tremendous opportunity for non-Indigenous people in the community to learn more about the culture of Indigenous persons,” said DeCourcey