By Nadia Yangin for The Canadian ExpatBy Nadia Yangin for The Canadian Expat
Canada Day is a day many Canadian expats look forward to each year. It’s an occasion to share, remember, and celebrate the country many call or have called “home”. This year is remarkably different.
A while back, we had asked for 15 volunteer Canadian expats to participate in sending videos to recreate the famous “rant”, expat version, for Canada Day. Many expats initially expressed their interest, but the recent news surrounding the horrific discoveries of hundreds (estimated thousands) of unmarked graves of Indigenous children on residential school grounds has definitely caused many to see Canada in a different light and even question celebrating Canada Day at all. We are choosing to prioritize the “rant” project for another time, but the important question that remains is - where do we as Canadians go from here?
What may have been unknown or part of a vague “knowledge” of Canada’s “past” colonial culture is now on the global stage. The discoveries have also brought to light the many ongoing injustices that Indigenous Canadians face today, spanning from missing Indigenous women to inadequate water supply.
Instead of lighting fireworks this Canada Day, perhaps we as Canadians can learn more about Canada’s past and shine a light on truth and reconciliation in order to push for positive changes going forward. Perhaps this way, all Canadians can feel like there is something to celebrate on Canada Day.
So where can one start?
The University of Alberta’s Faculty of Native Studies offers a FREE online course called Indigenous Canada for anyone who would like to learn more about Indigenous history and current affairs.