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.
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.