When we were younger, Alia and I loved to celebrate Canada Day because of the busyness of downtown Ottawa. Canadian artists! Fireworks! GIANT CROWDS! Nowadays, it’s turned into a reflection on the years of colonial history and systemic racism towards Indigenous peoples that many Canadians still refuse to acknowledge. We have lots of work to do.
This is a great time to diversify your shelves and feeds. We’re currently doing a buddy read of Tanya Talaga’s Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City and it is heartbreaking. And here are some amazing Instagrams to follow: @decolonizefirst, @thunderbirdwomanreads, and @shayla0h.
Learn and educate yourself (AND OTHERS – this is where change happens). The Nipissing University Student Union put together a great infographic that shares Indigenous stories and experiences.
Donate and support Indigenous organizations. Indspire is a charity that supports the education of Indigenous people while the National Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) works to represent and enhance the lives of Indigenous women, girls, and gender diverse people.
We are proud to be first and second generation Canadians. We are thankful for our parents’ immigration stories. However, if you’re going to celebrate #CanadaDay, be mindful and check your privileges.