Canada Day (Algonquin Anishinabe Territory/Ottawa)

Goooood morning! Thanks for showing up. Thanks for moving with us. Thanks for Zooming with us. We are grateful that while you’re there, you’re also here. We’re also grateful for how awesomely the Pride Tags came out! It helped that the people in the shirts are pretty cool, too.

 

 

 

As Pride Month comes to an end (note: there’s no end to pride… only to the month of June) and Canada Day approaches, we admit that we have been struggling to figure out the ‘right’ way to acknowledge Canada Day this year. Donning red and white clothes while waving a maple leaf with pride felt wrong, and ignoring or “cancelling” the day altogether also did not feel appropriate. While trying to find the right words to explain the confusing combination of pride, shame, gratitude, and guilt, we came across a post written by Dale, who had already found a way to articulate many of these thoughts. Thank you, Dale, for these insightful words.

Note: We recognize that we likely do not all hold the same views regarding what July 1st should look like. As co-leaders of NP Ottawa, we are not here to tell you how you should celebrate; however, we feel it is important to share our views and, as always, remain open to hearing your perspectives as well. Share your thoughts in the comments below or send us a message on FB or IG to get the conversation going.

 

There is a lot of confusion, in my opinion regarding the topic of “Cancelling Canada Day”.

From my perspective, as a proud First Nation member, I am not interested in abolishing Canada Day, yet this year, I will not be actively celebrating the day.

As a father, I am grateful my daughter is able to attend school, unlike some other countries around the globe. I am grateful if my children are injured we have access to medical treatment without the burden of medical bills. These aren’t something that I receive as a benefit of a Status Indigenous person, yet something every Canadian Citizen receives and can count on.

I am grateful for the magnificent landscape we have across our country, from ocean to ocean to ocean.

I am grateful for our Democratic process, as we can exercise a right to who is in power, yet, I am jaded enough to also appreciate many times our vote doesn’t have enough power over corporate lobbyists.

So while I truly appreciate those items above, this year is profoundly different, as for the very first time in decades, many will have seen the factual evidence of crimes against First Nations children, even though these crimes had been told for 7 generations, but dismissed.

This moment in Canada’s history is bittersweet, as we truly should not even be having this discussion. These were children. Yet the skeletons of these children, unfortunately have had a greater impact on the majority of Canadians than their laughter, their tears or the suffering they endured, as they were stolen from their families to as Sir John A. MacDonald stated, prevent them from becoming savages.

We can lay blame on Sir John A, but every single Prime Minister after Sir John A. Has the blood of those children on their hands, as do the opposition parties that could have used their opportunities to correct this horrific wrong.

These are lost souls, on our soil, in a country that has the facade of being peacekeepers around the globe. Of being the example to the world of the best place to live, raise a family and enjoy a long life. I guess those values are true, if your were not of First Nations People decent.

So this year, set the flags down, no maple leaf temporary tattoos, no wearing of red and white.

Instead, this year, while still loving your country, wear orange, fly an orange flag at half mast, and show your solidarity with the the country’s original inhabitants who’s children were mentally and physically abused, and thousands killed and left alone in an unmarked grave, so you could build your home in a rural setting, you could continue to fill up your vehicle with fuel, heat your home with natural gas. As many of these natural resources came from lands that were not meant to be raped and pillaged.

This year, don’t just acknowledge you’re on unceded territory of (insert local Indigenous territory) and then go on with your day.

This year, demand we change the history being taught in schools to depict the facts.

This year, demand your elected official commits to a swift implementation of the remaining Truth and Reconciliation recommendations.

This year demand your elected official ensures courts are not required to due the right thing anymore.

This year, stand in solidarity on Canada Day with all of Canada’s First Nations People.

And commit to me, that when the sun sets on Canada Day, that will be the first day, but from that day forward, you will continue to stand in solidarity with our First Nations People.

Chi miigwech
DK

Wishing you all a safe Canada Day filled with appreciation, gratitude, and reflection. And ice cream and dogs and outdoor fun.

 

Sole-fully,
Rebecca & Becca

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  1. Another Sunrise 6k is upon us! Mark your calendars: Wed July 7th we will be set up at the locks (old PR day hill) and have a route set out should you wish to meet in person. You are also very welcome to pick any 6k route you desire. You are also welcome to not run 6k and to hand out freezies to people running. Or stay in bed and thinking about running. Or stay in bed and think about dogs. The possibilities are endless really.

  2. Pet a doggo

 

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