It’s a big day here on the Prairies, Canada 150! That’s right folks, as a country we’ve been “on the map” for 150 years. We know we’re babies in the whole world country thing but we’re celebrating none the less. Or, we should say…. Some of us are celebrating, some, not so much. You see, Canada has a reconciliation problem. To be clear, how you feel about this day probably has a lot to do with the colour of your skin and where/how you were raised.
There are many Canadian First Nations people who do not see this day as a beacon of freedom and choice and they have very good reason not to. Historical injustices have rained upon our nation and left tainted ground that needs to heal before the growth of understanding and tolerance will flourish. It’s for those good and deserving souls we will forgo any celebratory moments today and instead quietly reflect on the damage done.
Starting with treaties signed in good faith by intelligent, caring First Nations communities only to be broken by government agents, followed by the Indian Act, a destructive evil document that still rules the lives of people living within this apartheid system. To the blatant marginalization of First Nations children…. The list goes on and on. It’s not hard to see that there are plenty of steps left on the road to reconciliation.
Try this one on for size, how can we reconcile the federal government spending upwards of 500 million dollars for 150 celebrations when most First Nations people live in abject poverty with no drinking water? That’s just a taste of the struggle we face as a nation, we must continue our quest to balance this country and of course we will. When you raise a glass today think of the original residents and support the road to reconciliation, carve out some time and space for a talk with a person of colour you know and listen, all we have to do is listen.