May 20, 2013 / 6:50 am
A group that includes some prominent Canadian actors, writers and politicians is calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to change the name of Victoria Day.
Author Margaret Atwood, Green Party leader Elizabeth May and actor Gordon Pinsent are among those behind an online petition to rename the public holiday, which is celebrated on Monday, as "Victoria and First Peoples Day."
Peter Keleghan, an actor and spokesman for the group, says the new name would give Canadians a chance to honour both the Crown and the indigenous peoples of Canada.
"I know there is a great deal of monarchists in this country but I think also that there is also an awful lot of talk about how First Nations people, Inuit people, indigenous people in this country are being treated," he said Sunday.
Victoria Day marks the birthday of Queen Victoria and is celebrated every year on the last Monday before May 25. Quebec celebrates National Patriots' Day on the same day, to honour the rebellion against the British in 1837.
There is already a day to honour Canada's indigenous peoples, but Keleghan pointed out it's not recognized as a federal public holiday.
National Aboriginal Day is celebrated every year on June 21.
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