Today I will celebrate the resilience of First Nations, Metis and Inuit people. I will celebrate the fact that their cultures are still here and living.
Living acorss 3 continents and a handful of countries, I am very grateful to tell others that I am a Japanes-Chinese, Canadian. Without choosing I was born and inherited the unearned advantages accrued by virtue of being a national of developed country. I have been given tools like health care and education, but I wish my Canadian identity came with a stronger understanding of the history – the fact that it can be traced back to tens of thousands of years earlier, pre-1867.
I hope this day marks a continued fight for equality in education, health care, safe drinking water, quality housing and governance in indigenous land & addressing climate change and natural resource extraction. There is still so much to be done!
“As we mark 150 years since Confederation, it’s important for us to remember and reflect all aspects of our collective history. We need to remember that we are all treatypeople and that Reconciliation isn’t an Indigenous issue – it is a Canadian imperative.”
As the David Suzuki Foundation puts it:
Today, Canada as a confederation is 150 years old. But the history of this land reaches tens of thousands of years earlier. Scientists recently confirmed that the Heiltsuk First Nation on B.C.’s west coast have lived in their territories for at least 15,000 years. Before 1867, this land certainly was not empty – nor was it in need of colonization.
A sustainable future for our natural world hinges on our ability to blend traditional ecological knowledge with modern science. So this July 1, take a moment to reflect on the history of this great land pre-1867, and commit to becoming better, more responsible stewards of our planet – through a deeper connection with all peoples and interdependence with nature.