I appreciate that I am a Canadian. I recognize the privileges I have, as well as the freedoms. However I will not be celebrating #canada150 for these reasons:
1) Indigenous people have suffered greatly over the past 150 years because of the pass system, residential schools and the Sixties Scoop.
2) The annihilation of Indigenous cultures. The lack of opportunity to reclaim what they lost during colonization.
3) Implemting with urgency the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's report recommendations detailing the heart-wrenching testimonies of thousands of residential school survivors, their parents and many others.
4) Decriminalizing systemic and everyday attitudes towards Indigenous people.
5) Urgently providing adequate water, food, shelter and social services in ALL indigenous communities.
6) Honouring Dish with One Spoon Treaty. Here we agreed to share, replenish and protect the lands we are now inhibiting.
7) Although Indigenous women and girls make up only 3% of the female population in Canada, they represent 10% of all female homicides in Canada. Indigenous women in Canada face many risk factors, compared to non-Indigenous women. There are nearly 1,200 murdered and missing indigenous women and girls in Canada, possibly more. We need answers, their families need answers and to have their grief taken seriously.
|The Scream, on the cover, The Subjugation of Truth, by Kent Monkman.|
My own parents were expelled from their homeland by Ugandan military dictator, Idi Amin. Displacement, rejection and struggle was met by courage, and they have survived - but the recognition of the rapes, death, tortures and brutalization still remains sparse.
While many of us are out celebrating, please remember the impact of colonization in all our lives and the obligation to tell the truth, and honour the first peoples of the land.