Ice cream shop to close on Canada Day, condemns continued oppression of Indigenous peoples

Jun 28 2022, 6:00 pm

An ice cream shop in Ontario is choosing not to participate in Canada Day festivities for the third year in a row, denouncing the continued oppression of Indigenous communities.

Moo Shu Ice Cream, located on Bank Street in Ottawa, announced on its social media platforms that it would be closed on July 1 and 2, arguably one of the busiest and most profitable weekends for businesses during the year.

“We choose not to celebrate the ongoing colonization, oppression and genocide of the Indigenous peoples of this land,” the shop tweeted and posted on Instagram on Sunday.

Instead, the Moo Shu team says they’ll be spending the day at Minobideg Learning, an organization that connects people with Indigenous knowledge keepers to understand and learn more about Indigenous communities.

“We will be exploring and learning about earth stewardship from an Anishnabeg worldview,” the tweet continues. “Thank you to our customers who have continued to support our decision to close on Canada Day over the years.”

Owner Liz Mok told Daily Hive that the shop started closing intentionally on Canada Day in 2019.

“I think it was a gradual build-up of learning more about what’s going on in Indigenous communities,” she said in an Instagram direct message. “This year is a more significant step towards engaging more with the topic.”

The tweet has thousands of likes and hundreds of retweets, with people commending the shop for its stand against celebrating Canada Day.

“You’ve just got yourself a fan,” one person quote tweeted.

“More of this, please!” said another Twitter user.

“I hope many companies and people will follow this example and imagine what is needed before Canada Day can be a day of celebration,” added another user.

Mok says Moo Shu isn’t the only business supporting Indigenous communities this Canada Day.

Ottawa bakery Little Jo Berry’s will be donating all July 1 sales to the Assembly of Seven Generations (A7G), a non-profit focused on cultural support and empowerment programs for Indigenous youth. 


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A post shared by Little Jo Berry’s (@littlejoberrys)

Bread By Us, another bakery in Ottawa, is running a fundraiser for A7G until July 1.

“Slow progression but we are trying,” added Mok. “Without taking that break, it’s hard to make time for it when you’re running a fast-paced small business.”

Last May, the remains of 215 children were found buried on the grounds of a former residential school in Kamloops, BC. This brought discussions surrounding reconciliation back to the forefront, and the concept of cancelling Canada Day was also trending

Since then, investigations into other former residential school sites in BC and Alberta have found hundreds more unmarked graves.

These “schools,” which existed from the 1870s to 1997, were run by the Roman Catholic Church and funded by the Canadian government.

#CancelCanadaDay isn’t trending yet, but there’s still time before July 1.

Isabelle DoctoIsabelle Docto

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