The celebrations, the fireworks, the parties , the patriotism, etc. Just a few things people do, on what is known on July 1st in Canada, as Canada Day. Why do you celebrate Canada Day? What does Canada Day mean to you? What IS Canada Day? These are some of the questions that one should sit and reflect upon July 1st, or quite frankly, everyday. 2017 will mark the 150th anniversary of Confederation on July 1st. As many people take this day to celebrate, many First Nations are reminded that this is a day where people are celebrating the colonization of their land. Their land is robbed of it’s resources, genocide of their people, and broken treaties; on their Native land. While many take this day to enjoy their BBQs in the great outdoors with their families on Canada Day, First Nations have lost a great amount of their ‘Great Outdoors’. Many were sick and died from starvation because of colonization. For example: Fort Pitt is where biological warfare took place. The British had items taken from a smallpox infirmary as gifts to Native American emissaries to have the disease spread to nearby tribes. This was allowed by the British Crown and as a result, 95 per cent of First Nations were wiped out. Another example: First Nations had a population of two million people in the late 15th century. Due to diseases, lost and stolen land , the population dropped to 10,000. And let’s not forget Christopher Columbus colonization of North America in 1492…or as some people call it, “Christopher Columbus’ discovery”. This in turn wiped out 14, 700, 000 Indigenous People . The lack of education which has caused youth to commit suicide, pollution, missing and murdered aboriginal women; currently add to the decreasing First Nations population.
In conclusion, as you look up in the sky this evening, and you enjoy your BBQ , drinks and fireworks…take a minute and reflect on what exactly you’re celebrating and why. Take a moment and be conscious of the land you are on, the things you take for granted that are being stripped away each day of the Indigenous people.