Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Canada Day

Canada Day is meant to be a day of celebration about the birth of our great Country. On July 1 1867, at noon, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and the Province of Canada were proclaimed the Dominion of Canada, with John A. Macdonald its first prime minister. Now, the area of Upper Canada was called Ontario and Lower Canada was called Quebec.

In most parts of the new Dominion, it was a dazzling sunny day. The reverberation of a brass band could be heard in many towns.

In Toronto, children were given Union Jacks to wave and an ox was roasted in front of St. Lawrence Hall, with the meat then distributed to the poor.

In Ottawa, a military review on Parliament Hill fired a salute. The soldiers forgot to take the ramrods out of their rifles and the iron rods arched over Sparks Street.

But there are other views and the following was written by Drew Hayden Taylor and published in the Globe and Mail in 2012.

Canada Day has always been a mixed bag for Canada’s native people. It makes us think of many things: patriotism, flags, sunburned cottagers, barbeques and exploding fireworks. That’s the good stuff.
For some, though, it’s a reminder that it was four years ago when Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologized to the first nations, Inuit and M├ętis inhabitants of this country for the imposition and effects of the infamous residential-school system.
Since then, much has been said and written about that apology: Did it go far enough? Too little too late? What’s next? That is something I am afraid only educated, wealthy white men in positions of power can decide.
However, some in the native community feel that perhaps we are being a little lax in not issuing an apology of our own.
We are not without some culpability. In the centuries that have passed since that fateful day of contact, we ourselves have been negligent and irresponsible in not acknowledging our liability in many regretful incidents and events in the past.
So in the spirit of cooperation, I would like to offer up these apologies to the people of Canada on behalf of the NAFNIP (native/aboriginal/first nations/indigenous people):
We hereby apologize for being so inconsiderate as to occupy land that, one day, your people would want. Even though we did not have a postal system or an Internet, this was an inexcusable oversight. We hope you are enjoying it.
We apologize for having so many politically correct and incorrect names for you to call us – everything from native to aboriginal to first nations to wagon burner to status-card number 
In retrospect, to make things easier for you, we should have stayed in India, where we were originally thought to have come from. Unfortunately today it is really hard to get decent palak paneer on the reserve.
We hereby apologize for not understanding the subtle connections between God, children and sexual abuse. Some are still struggling with appreciating this association.
They are forgetting that, early in the Bible, it says, “Let there be white. And it was good.”
We apologize for wanting rights to minerals and other natural resources that exist beneath our feet. When you negotiated for our land, you meant to the Earth’s core.
We did not fully comprehend that when we were put on reserves where our rights to the land only went two or three feet below the surface.
Anything that falls down a sewer grate basically belongs to the Federal Government.
We apologize for being so concerned about the disappearances of so many native women.
We did not realize that the professional attitude of most law-enforcement agencies towards this issue was basically “out of sight, out of mind.” From now on, we’ll report any native women that go missing as white women with dark tans. That should speed up response time.
Many of us also believe that with the passage of Bill C51 Canada has taken one large step backwards toward a paternalistic and some would say fascist state that will destroy the country that progressives have been trying to build for years. So there is much to celebrate this Canada day, but there is also much to remember and if no action is taken, much to mourn.

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