Canada Day isn't a celebration for everyone
As many Canadians celebrate their country's birthday, Susana Deranger writes on Briarpatch: "Canada Day brings tears to my eyes and an ache in my heart".
However, the Regina activist and educator isn't talking about tears of joy.
A member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Deranger understandably has a more critical view of Canada Day than most of the hundreds of thousands of people whooping it up on Parliament Hill in Ottawa with William and Kate and the Harpers.
Here's how Deranger's piece begins:
As people across Canada mark the 144th anniversary of Confederation on July 1st, I cannot find reason to celebrate alongside them.
Every Canada Day, I reflect on the continual theft of my land and resources, on broken treaties, on the genocide of my peoples and the refusal to recognize my sovereignty. I sit and wonder if the Palestinians could celebrate the settlement of Israel. Could the Irish celebrate England; the Tibetans, China; or the North Africans, France?
Deranger ends with an appeal to Canadians:
This Canada Day, I reach out to you all and appeal to your consciousness and ask you to reflect on what you are celebrating. I ask you to reflect on what this day means to Indigenous Peoples on the territory you are living on that has given you so much. I ask you to dig deep inside of yourself and think about how we can work together to rectify the colonial legacy of Canada. I ask you to walk with me and others to truly create a place that is worth celebrating. I ask you to stand up to create a Canada that acknowledges the wrongs of yesterday and today, and paves the way for dignity and respect for all peoples tomorrow and all the tomorrows that follow.
Just some food for thought on Canada Day.
You can follow Stephen Hui on Twitter at twitter.com/stephenhui.