Happy 150th Birthday Canada, But…

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Today’s post is written by Chris Houston, Kindercare’s Social Media Consultant.  This is so very important to think about on Canada’s 150th Birthday:

Happy Canada Day to my new home. I’ve truly fallen in love with Canada. And it is so easy to do so. Compared with others it is friendly and open to outsiders and is mostly a global force for good.

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But Canada also has issues. The one most relevant today is the history of terrible treatment of indigenous communities. I had the privilege to spend a month in Iqaluit a few years ago and I learned a lot about topics that I should have learned about sooner.

The suffering of indigenous communities is 150 years old today and it is not only a relic of history, it continues to this day.

143 years before I did, Europeans came to Canada. They made deals that they later broke. They did awful things. Children were forced into residential schools. People were forcibly moved. People’s livelihoods were destroyed, their way of life made impossible, their sled dogs killed.

This this day, people continue to suffer. Nunavut (larger than any province or territory) doesn’t have a university. The suicide rate is amongst the highest in the world. Health indicators and life expectancy are low. Living costs and travel costs are high.

Also, I’ve noticed something in my time in North America. When it comes to protecting our planet, when our environment comes under attack from corporations extracting the resources, often in dangerous ways, it is indigenous peoples who lead the way in terms of protecting our planet.

If you care about equality or social justice, please reflect what you are doing to address this inequality.

Today I celebrate Canada. I love Canada. But I also strive for a more equal and just Canada that still needs to reconcile and repair damage and wounds that remain open.