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Will we celebrate ‘Victoria and First Peoples Day’ next year?

Queen Victoria, circa 1898

Library of Congress

Is it time to rethink the name of Canada's Victoria Day holiday? A number of well-known Canadians, including Margaret Atwood, Susan Aglukark, Elizabeth May and Gordon Pinsent are part of a group urging Canadians to sign a petition to rename the holiday Victoria and First Peoples Day.

The petition had just over 900 signatures at the time this piece was posted online.

The group argues changing the name will continue to honour Queen Victoria's birthday but will also recognize the role that First Nations, Inuit and Metis people played in the development of Canada and the country's history.

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According to the petition, "The newly named holiday would be an opportunity to commemorate that venerable relationship, to celebrate unique Indigenous cultures, to revisit our shared history, and to provide an opportunity for all Canadians to participate in the diverse and extraordinary heritage of our country."

It is addressed directly to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

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About the Author

Carly Weeks has been a journalist with The Globe and Mail since 2007.  She has reported on everything from federal politics to the high levels of sodium in the Canadian diet. More

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