On the 1st July 1867 our country, Canada, divided before that day, became one State. But nations aren’t just a geographical unified space, they’re socio-political projects, with History, ideas and ideals that glue them together.
Author Will Ferguson said that “the great themes of Canadian history are as follows:
Keeping the Americans out
Keeping the French in
and trying to get the Natives to somehow disappear.”
That is what unifies this country, that’s the History, the socio-political project that glued Canada and kept it from collapsing.
That was our core identity.
Well, that core identity is failing us now. That identity is disruptive and over time it kept one specific part, amongst many others, of our people out from what Canada, our country, should really be. We’re on the top shelves of countries around the world according to surveys and quality reports and yet we failed so deeply some of our own.
We failed the first nation people.
Without them, there would be no Canada. Nothing would exist of what the forefathers and then others built. Because the First Nation People taught them how to live in this country, and how to take advantage of those lands. Lands that we so cynically and maliciously stole from them with subterfuges and betrayal of pacts and the word given.
And today, on Canada Day, remembering the date this country became one, we don’t just need to celebrate but remind ourselves of those betrayals and those thefts we consumed over the centuries.
We owe the First Nation People at least this much.
We owe them our unconditional allyship because of the sins we stained us with. Because they cannot celebrate, in good conscience, this day.
What would you do if your own child would have been found dead, murdered, thrown in a mass grave? Would you party? Would you celebrate alongside the ones that simply stared at those crimes and passed along?
Would you celebrate the country that permitted all that to happened?
What would you do?
You would not celebrate. You would not simply mourn. You would protest for your rights and you would ask for repayment. Because even if some things are priceless you could at least consider yourself somewhat free.
I know you would.
And they’re doing it. They’re protesting to feel, somewhat, free.
I will support each and every one of them until the last of my breaths because that’s who I am. That’s what being an ally means.
What’s allyship? What is really being an ally?
It’s staying on the right side of History.
Staying by the side of the weak that fought alone for too long, on the side of the people.
Being loyal to the many, because the time of the few must come to an end.
This is an ally.
Are you one?