As Canada’s 150th anniversary approaches, in-your-face patriotism is ramping up. We’re encouraged to celebrate all things Canadian: Tim Hortons, hockey and “our home and native land.” CBC’s online video “Canada is celebrating 150 years of… what, exactly?” condenses events that led to this colonial celebration, with the acknowledgement “Indigenous people have been on this land for thousands of years,” and ending with “How old is Canada, really? Hard to say. We’re going with 150… for obvious reasons.”
Obviously… ? In 1867, the “Dominion of Canada” was created to the benefit of people who displaced First Nations. This colonization process was violent and culturally genocidal. Since then, Indigenous people have experienced land dispossession, destruction of traditional cultures and violent assimilation through residential schools. When I think about pride in who I am, identifying as “Canadian” doesn’t come to mind.