A group of prominent Canadians are looking to change the name of the Victoria day holiday.  Author Margaret Atwood, Green Party leader Elizabeth May and actor Gordon Pinsent are all involved in the proposed name change and looking to gain support via an online petition.

The proposed new name would be Victoria and First people’s day, in an attempt to reflect the long relationship between Aboriginal Canadians and the monarchy.  While there is already a National day to celebrate the First Peoples of Canada (National Aboriginal Day which is celebrated every year on June 21) it is not recognized as a National holiday.

On the petition website victoriaandfirstpeoplesday.ca the groups explains that “For centuries, Canadians, the First Nations, the Inuit, and the Metis have had a close affinity with the British Monarchy.” They continue saying that they have been “Partners in trade, allies in war, friends in peace, and often relatives through marriage and descent” and that ” it is from this ancient and honourable relationship that Canada was created.”

At the time of this article the petition was still shy of one thousand signatures but there is hope that through social media sharing and increased media exposure that the signature number will increase significantly.

The letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper on the website call the proposed name change “an opportunity to commemorate that venerable relationship (between The First Nations and the monarchy), 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.”

Political Strategist and Union Leader Brian Topp, Actor Graham Greene, Author Thomas King, Actor Peter Keleghan,  Artist Charles Pachter, and  Musician Susan Aglukark are all included on the website as featured supporters of the petition.

You can sign the petition at  victoriaandfirstpeoplesday.ca.

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