Canada 150 years and more

Canada 150 flag

This year is a special one for Canada. Tomorrow, the country officially turns 150 years old.

Canada Day is always a special occasion, and I enjoy celebrating it every year. This year, I’ve been thinking about it a little differently.

Over the past year, I’ve had opportunity to hear presentations by two Indigenous leaders, Senator Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and Roberta Jamieson, the first woman elected Chief of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. I’ve listened to a thanksgiving blessing and watched an honour song performance.

As I listened to these two impressive people and experienced these other special moments, I’ve learned and I’ve been thinking about Canada’s history. I am starting to understand more of the experiences of First Nations’ peoples and I have begun to think about my role in reconciliation with Indigenous people.

Roberta Jamieson highlighted that while the Dominion of Canada is 150 years old, our country has a long history that pre-dates 1867. As we celebrate 150 years, we can also remember and acknowledge this history.

I know very little about the history of the farm or the Indigenous history of this area, but there obviously is a history that extends beyond Confederation and much, much earlier.

Four years ago, we planted this little maple tree on the turnaround. My hope is that it stands for many years and one day grows as big as the large maple behind it.

Canada 150 flag

Roberta Jamieson said that the Six Nations’ philosophy is to take responsibility for their great-grandchildren’s great-grandchildren–seven generations into the future.

We are just a small moment in the life of this farm, this small part of Canada. I hope that we can do right by the generations–seven and more–that come after us.

Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians. And to my American readers who are celebrating next week, Happy Independence Day.

10 thoughts on “Canada 150 years and more

  1. Happy Canada Day. Once my husband and I were in Canada on your special day and saw some of the celebrations. I like the fact that there is an ongoing attempt to right some of the wrongs committed on the indigenous inhabitants, and an attempt to understand one another better, something that is lacking in the US.

  2. I agree so much with this post. Between living on Vancouver Island where there are so many reserves, and having my son marry a lovely indigenous woman last summer, I have learned so much more than I knew before about the terrible things that were done in the name of settlement of this country. As a result, I had a difficult time jubilantly celebrating Canada’s 150th. I do very much appreciate the fact that there are fragile tendrils being extended both ways in terms of the reconciliation, but am so aware that we have so much further to go. We are not even close to the halfway point.
    Your post was lovely in that it bridged those two areas, love for this country and desire to do better by those who lived here long before we came. ❤

    • It’s amazing how much we don’t know, isn’t it? I’m glad more awareness is happening, but I wish it was more widespread. I agree we have so much farther to go. Understanding the depth and length of the history really helps with comprehension of current issues. Rather than saying, “I don’t get why they can’t just…” I have a very different perspective because I am at least aware of the centuries of abuse and mistrust that have preceded this moment and impacted the current reality.

      • I agree. And I find both the length and the depth are hard to wrap my head around! It’s really staggering, and the more I learn, the more distressed I become. But the healing has to involve how we (read: non-indigenous/settlers) come to terms with our own historical roles in this as well. I’m finding that a challenge. It would be a great deal easier if the abuses were not still going on…

  3. I appreciated your post as I too have been thinking about Canada 150 and how it reflects on us as a country and our past that we don’t often talk about. I listened to a program on CBC called Circles of Reconciliation — where “we” learn and listen and “they” talk and share. A start if you will for the past to be more balanced. It is true we know so little but slowly more of us are embracing that we need to do our share of the journey.

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