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July 1: Canada Day

Canada Day

Each year on July 1st, Canadians come together to celebrate the country's confederation in 1867, also known as Canada Day. In 2023, Canada will turn 156 years old, and with this long history comes an undeniable significance of both its triumphs and patriotism, and without question, its challenges for its Indigenous communities.

Canada Day is a day of joy and national unity, bringing together people of diverse backgrounds and cultures to celebrate our country's sociological journey and natural beauty. Families and friends gather to enjoy parades, festivals, fireworks, and more while reflecting on the country's rich history and progressive cultural diversity.

At the core of Canadian society are the tenets of equity, freedom, and democracy which form the foundation of everything the country stands for. Canadians continue to uphold these values through their strong economy, advancements in public healthcare, and commitment to inclusivity and multiculturalism.

Canada’s birthday is both a celebration and a reflection. It is crucial to acknowledge that for many Indigenous Peoples, this day represents a legacy of colonialism and injustices faced for centuries. Prior to European contact, Indigenous Peoples lived on and nurtured the land that is now Canada, with their own languages, cultures, and governance systems.

With the arrival of European settlers, Indigenous Peoples were stripped of their land, resources, and identity. The impacts of colonialism persist today, with Indigenous Peoples facing high rates of poverty, discrimination, and violence. Thus, Canada Day also serves as a relevant reminder of the struggles our Indigenous communities continue to face. 

In recent years, Canada Day events have become a platform for conversations around the country's colonial legacy and the necessity of having Indigenous Peoples involved in the continued shaping of Canada's future. This is in part, due to the Canadian government’s commitment to Canada’s journey of reconciliation, including the 94 Calls to Action to be upheld in collaboration with Indigenous groups. 

As inclusive and equitable organizations, it is essential that we embrace true Canadian history, which includes honouring our Indigenous Peoples' continuous societal impact. Canada Day events have the power to provide a platform for non-Indigenous individuals to learn more about and support Indigenous cultures, traditions, and ongoing work towards self-determination and justice.

At Global Learning, we want to continue bringing awareness to the Indigenous experience and support the understanding and embodiment of the non-Indigenous role in reconciliation. As such, having an honest portrait of Canada’s history is important, as it contributes to deeper transparency and respect. 

On this Canada Day, let us reflect on how far we have come, and the long road ahead to ensure total equity for all Canadians. As we celebrate Canada's diversity and unity, let us also strive to understand the history and ongoing challenges of Indigenous Peoples and support their heritage, cultures, and contributions. We can't undo the past, but we can work towards a more just and inclusive future.


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