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Celebrating Canada

There’s a growing movement to cancel Canada Day celebrations this year, in light of the recent graves discovered at the residential schools and the reminder of that terrible part of our history, when children were removed from their homes on reserves and sent to schools. These schools were nothing less than re-education centres, run by a few organized religions, predominately Roman Catholic. It was, in fact, cultural genocide and many children were abused and died of various causes, their unmarked and undocumented graves only recently discovered.
 
I’ve thought long and hard about whether we should be celebrating Canada Day this year, even taking into consideration the fact that some of my ancestors were Aboriginal.

Every country in the world has shameful events in their past. In our multicultural country, many of our citizens come from countries where exploitation, torture, and genocide are still happening. Our local newspaper just published an article about a refugee from one such country.

https://www.yorkregion.com/news-story/10417961–everyone-was-brutalized-how-a-liberian-refugee-escaped-to-live-the-canadian-dream-in-georgina/?s

We cannot change our history, but we can change how we respond to the tragedies that are part of it. By coming together and recognizing our strengths and our weaknesses, we are demonstrating what it means to be Canadian. As Canadians, we must not cover it up, but bring it to light and find a way to reconcile what has happened with who we are today.

That is worth celebrating.
 
 
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This post by Suzette Seveny is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.