It’s been 150 years since we stole land that wasn’t ours, made promises we didn’t adhere to, and left a whole population of people to die.
That’s not dramaticism. We took over their homes, then decided they needed to be more like us. We stole their children and put them in schools that abused, raped, and neglected them. The death tolls from those schools are astonishing and underreported. To this day, there are reservations that don’t have safe water. In 2017. In the land of the free.
Canada is a great place. For most people. Public health care, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, relative wealth, an abundance of apologies and doors held open. Hockey, Tims, access to education, the right to marry whomever you want.
It’s a paradox, isn’t it? And it’s okay to love your country AND also acknowledge when it’s been a seriously oppressive asshole. It’s okay to celebrate being Canadian while demanding reconciliation for Indigenous people. But it’s imperative that we do both. It’s imperative that we don’t turn a blind eye to what’s happened and what’s still happening. It’s imperative we learn the realities, smash our own biases, and never, ever tell people they should just move on or get over it already. Check your privilege, be loud in the fight, and demand that the equality we so vehemently celebrate is actually a reality for everyone that lives here. Because if you love Canada and its freedom, then you understand why it’s important to make sure everyone is truly free.
Happy Canada 150+ – it’s been far more than 150 years.