Some Canada 150 Thoughts

  This is looking out at the brewing storm over Lake Ontario from Charles Daley Park this afternoon (Canada 150). I took it a few hours after I played a couple songs during the student sets from  Beamsville Music Studio  (where I have taken various music lessons over the years). The storm and the plastic bag — or whatever that is under the rock there — I think, says something poignant about climate change, how we treat the environment, and how it responds.

This is looking out at the brewing storm over Lake Ontario from Charles Daley Park this afternoon (Canada 150). I took it a few hours after I played a couple songs during the student sets from Beamsville Music Studio (where I have taken various music lessons over the years). The storm and the plastic bag — or whatever that is under the rock there — I think, says something poignant about climate change, how we treat the environment, and how it responds.

Happy Canada 150, to those celebrating. I just wanted to write a  quick and informal blog to talk about the event. I won't be saying anything new or particularly different, let alone interesting, but I want to add my voice to the crowd. 
 
First of all, it's important to say that I am so happy to be Canadian. I’m proud of my country on many fronts, and I can't possibly express how glad I am to have been born where I was. And I am celebrating today, with my community and family, and I did play a few songs this afternoon at a small celebration, though none of this is without reservation.
 
Nearly all Canadians, have a hand in nothing short of indigenous genocide. We have hidden our shame too long, and we continue to contribute to oppressive systems that keep indigenous communities down and in many cases forcefully so. Many indigenous communities are still without clean, fresh water and suicide is literally an epidemic. This is blood on our hands. We are failing our neighbours. We need to break these systems and quit our cruel, destructive treatment of entire peoples and their ways of life. 
 
Similarly, 150 years of Canadian confederacy has also meant 150 years of Canadian industrialism which has contributed to the environmental devastation that has brought about anthropogenic* climate change, the greatest threat we all face today. Climate Change affects us all, right now. It’s an uphill battle, but if we work like hell, humanity can live comfortably and sustainably on Earth for a long, long time. We owe ourselves and future generations nothing less.
 
Being proud to be Canadian and happy to be here is worth nothing if we don't make a conscious effort to be better to ourselves, fellow Canadians, and fellow human beings.
 
* ‘man-made’, but without the sexism — although, I suppose men made most of the bad decisions that put us here. 

 

Here are a couple articles on Indigenous resistance to Canada 150 and their stories, there are many, many others, please don't just read the ones I linked to: 

'A horrible history': Four Indigenous views on Canada 150 - Simon Kreitem, The Globe and Mail

150 years of cultural genocide: Today, like all days, is an insult - Romeo Saganash, The Globe and Mail

#Resistance 150 Canada Day isn’t a celebration for Indigenous people - Jasmine Kabatay, Vice News Canada

Why is Canada’s 150th birthday controversial? - M.D., The Economist

Can you celebrate Canada 150 and still respect Indigenous rights? - Anna Maria Tremonti, CBCRadio