Traditionally Canadians have celebrated nationwide on July 1 – a date that has evolved to mean many things to many people. Some recognize it as the day Canada became a country – with the passing of the Constitution Act in 1867. Others simply look at it as a day to gather with friends and family to watch fireworks, while others may reflect on their journey as immigrants to this country and celebrate their new life of opportunity and freedom. As I reflect on the day and this country I call home, I am cognizant of the grief that lays in my heart since the discovery of unmarked burial sites of indigenous children at former residential school in British Columbia and Saskatchewan.
As a first generation Canadian, whose parents and siblings immigrated to this country, I realize how much we need to learn about the indigenous people who called this land home before the first Europeans settled here and how deeply their culture and way of life were affected by Canada’s Eurocentric misguided and harmful decisions.
I encourage everyone this Canada Day to take a moment to pause and reflect. This is our opportunity to challenge ourselves, our community, and the country to do better. Healing is needed if we are going to move forward and make Truth and Reconciliation a national priority.
Stay safe and stay well,