“We will gather to honour all of the lives lost to the Canadian State – Indigenous lives, Black Lives, Migrant lives, Women and Trans and 2Spirit lives – all of the relatives that we have lost. We will use our voices for MMIWG2S, Child Welfare, Birth Alerts, Forced Sterilization, Police/RCMP brutality and all of the injustices we face. We will honour our connections to each other and to the Water, Land, and Sky.”
The news of unmarked graves at residential schools -the third discovery announced on the day of this writing – has brought the injustices of the past into the present. Idle No More, quoted above, and many others have called for a change in how we mark Canada Day. Many municipalities and organizations are responding to this call, and are putting traditional celebratory activities on hold.
The Sudbury Workers Centre will be joining Myths and Mirrors at their event to come together in sober reflection this Canada Day.
There is nothing unpatriotic about taking the day to reflect, to mourn, to honour, to grow. On November 11 every year, we spend the day in solemn and sober reflection. We don’t party it up because we kicked some Nazi ass. We instead pay homage to those who fought and fell. We recognize the horrors of our actions in war, as well as the outcomes. When we speak of the leaders during the war years, we recognize their flaws and weaknesses as well. We accept they weren’t perfect and made choices that history would question.
We can do the same this Canada Day. We can honour the dead, we can mourn the loss of life and culture. We can reflect on what still needs to be done. All these are patriotic actions. They just aren’t the actions we’re accustomed to taking.
Change is necessary. Change is painful. We stand in solidarity with our indigenous cousins. We hope you will join us.