Today is Canada Day which is a celebration of the founding of Canada in 1867. I have chosen to spend this day quite differently which includes publishing this article for you!
Normally every year my company Maple Immigration Services would hold a big BBQ where we invite a bunch of clients and friends to celebrate while giving them a good taste of Canada. Usually, this day is marked similarly in many other countries where everyone brings out the flags, gets a day off to get together to celebrate with friends/family and then ends their day with impressive fireworks displays.
This year however is quite different, as celebrations have been cancelled/scaled back and while you might think that this is due to COVID that is not actually the entire case. At all levels of government celebrations have been cancelled, adapted with many have taking pause. We even see the flag at Canada’s Parliament flying at half mast.
In Canada over the last few months, our collective national sins of the past have been awakened and brought to the forefront in a very big way, as many Canadians have been slapped in the face with our past. We have all learned collectively of unmarked graves of children which were the product of residential schools.
Residential schools were places that were created by the government in conjunction with some religious orders where Native Canadian or First Nations children were sent. These boarding schools were presented as a way to educate and bring native Children into “the fold” and educate them in “our ways”. The reality is that they were a place that allowed for unimaginable horrors which have produced lasting damage which has been passed down for generations among our first nations people.
Canada along with many other countries all have dark histories this is our proverbial “skeletons in the closet”. The Native Canadian communities have been suffering for many years and these brutalities have been brushed aside and given no voice. As such they have led to extreme problems that include disproportionate alcohol/drug abuse and staggering suicide rates amongst these communities to name a few, but even more than that, we now have listened and heard how children have been stolen and murdered.
I am sad for First Nations who have been trying to have their voices heard for years and it has taken graves of children for these voices to finally be heard. As someone who has been “educated” in Canada these atrocities were not taught or given a voice and I can honestly say that there have been more than a few times where I have heard facts that stopped me in my tracks and caught me by surprise.
We all know that many nations have their secrets and past sins to atone for and this is not only isolated to Canada. Whether is be apartheid, the founding of political ideologies that subjugate their people, genocide, the holocaust or war crimes, every country has their burdens to bare. While some nations continue to not even acknowledge or have fully address them, it is not possible to build a truly lasting foundation based on falsehoods of the past. These transgressions whatever they may be will always come out with time and we are seeing this play out in real time here in Canada this year.
I am proud to be Canadian and even more proud in the way that we are choosing to handle our past as this will solidify this nation and make us stronger as a people together. Now that we collectively know what we know, what we do as a nation to truly acknowledge and make amends will define us not only now but for years to come so that this foundation can be repaired and we can become a stronger Canada.
So where to go from here… Do we brush it aside and go on with our BBQs and fireworks or do we truly make amends by listening and educating ourselves.
I think that we all have a duty to understand and become more aware of what this takes, and I know that I have been listening and will continue to re-educate myself on this dark part of our history. I hope that you will join me.
Before I end this article off, I would like to address what does this have to do with Immigration to Canada… well there are many things that I could say about this, but when I speak about getting a Second Passport to Canada, I always speak about the future and the benefits of having a Second Citizenship in Canada.
I am always mindful of many things but anyone who has heard me speak knows that I go over and above to give an honest representation of what Canada is. You will never hear me say that this is a utopian place of “Rainbows and Unicorns” as that is simply not accurate but when you start comparing us to other places in the world we are doing quite well and will continue to thrive. Part of getting to this place take true work and we are witnessing this now by laying a foundations for the future and a stronger nation.
Lastly, I think that securing your future and having a safe secure place for you and your family is something that we should have. We all want the same thing, a place to make an honest and livable wage, to live the life that we want to live, while having opportunities to grow not only for ourselves but for future generations.
I truly believe Canada has and will continue to offer these things and I am even more optimistic that they will be here in the future, as what we are seeing now is for the first time, I think an awakening of “Truth” which I think will to “Reconciliation” for the sins of our past.
I do not know what the future will hold but as with anyone who is future thinking you look for indicators or clues as to what the future will look like. The events of what has happened and more importantly how we are treating them give me optimism as to the future foundation of this country.
Happy Canada Day everyone and I hope that the 154th year and founding of this nation will be a day that is not only remembered for the founding of the country but will also give a continued voice to the First Nations of Canada who have been struggled and continued to be strong in the face of all of the oppression that they have endured.
Please join me and educate yourself and others on this, by sharing this article or any of the resources that have been referenced as understanding and acknowledging is something that needs to be shared and brought to the forefront for true reconciliation and acknowledgment to happen.
Should you wish to education and take the journey of reconciliation with me, I would invite you to check out the following resources to start that journey: