How We’re Marking July 1
This Canada Day isn’t like any other, and it shouldn’t be. Like many, we feel as if the usual celebrations and recognition of a history from which so many Indigenous people and their lives are erased simply does not make any sense. This is a year and a time for reflection, understanding, and facing hard truths about Canada, its history, and ourselves.
So this year, on July 1, we:
- Recognize that not all who live here share equally in the abundance and the relative peace of these lands, including its resources, safety, and opportunities for health and wellbeing;
- Reflect on the history of Canada and Canadian colonization with Indigenous people and nations who have lived on this land since long before “Canada” existed;
- Understand that this history is painful for and exploitive of Indigenous people, and further understand that the violent history of colonization, its effects on generations of Indigenous people and communities, continues to this day;
- Grieve the recent discoveries of Indigenous children’s bodies on the sites of residential schools, while we reflect on how to honour and hold the truth about this devastating history as more discoveries are made;
- Call on governments, organizations and individuals to engage in good faith with Indigenous people in Canada, to support advancement of Indigenous leadership and health sovereignty. Learn more about this work from the Indigenous Primary Health Care Council;
- Call on all Canadians and newcomers to do their part to enact the 94 calls to action outlined in the final report of the TRC, beginning by reading them in detail and thinking about ways to act in our own lives. Find them here in English and French;
- Walk in solidarity with our Indigenous neighbours towards a new path of truth and healing.
Let’s mark July 1 not with a focus on the country we claim to be, but by focusing on the actions it will take to become the country we want to be.