Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful to live in this vast and beautiful country that we all love... but I can't say that I'm a proud Canadian.
When we celebrate Canada Day, we're celebrating:
Over 150 years of:
- Ongoing systemic genocide towards the Indigenous community
- The continuous (and ongoing) forced sterilization of Indigenous Womxn in Canada
- The trauma of "Indian Residential Schools"
- The continual stealing of Indigenous land
- The lack of access to clean water in Indigenous communities across the country (In Ontario 2 in 5 First Nation communities are under boil water advisories)
- The 1000's of missing and murdered Indigenous Womxn
- Forced erasure of culture and language through assimilation tactics
- More violence and oppression than most of us could possibly comprehend
I believe in equality and non-discrimination based on race, sexual orientation and gender. I believe we all deserve to be treated with the same respect and love we give to our friends and families. I also believe that it is damn well time we speak up, learn up, do more and do better.
I cannot celebrate the ongoing colonial violence, Indigenous genocide and land theft. The violence and terrorism at the hands of our RCMP and Canadian Government. How is this even still happening in 2020?!
Canadians are known for being polite and neighbourly. For eating poutine and loving hockey. For being compassionate and caring. For saying "Eh" and apologizing too much. I don't mind being known for that.
I don't want to be known as the Country who looked the other way and didn't hold their Government accountable for this ongoing and disgusting mass injustice that Canada was built upon.
It's up to all of us to unlearn our Canadian History. To educate ourselves and to do better as Canadians and Human Beings.
I'm going to share some resources below and hope you'll take a look and begin the unlearning process for yourself.
I truly believe that together we can create massive change. That we can co-create a new world, where we are learning and unlearning, self-healing, evolving, creating new systems and holding our Governments accountable. A world where there is no space for racism, hate and discrimination, a world full of love, kindness and generosity. But we can't just sit around and wish things were different. This is the time to learn, to educate ourselves and our peers, and to take action.
The Ballantyne Project is a Vancouver based organization that focuses on bringing inspiration, a voice and opportunity to remote First Nation communities in Canada. They are currently working on a five-part video series to enhance the indigenous curriculum content for schools across the country.
Sharing from my friend Delia of Madrina Della Terra
I'd like to bring awareness to an extraordinary young man named Dwight Ballantyne.
Dwight grew up in a remote Northern community called Montreal Lake Cree Nation. Like many remote northern communities, opportunities for jobs were slim and most of the youth lose hope. Living within the limitations of these communities is extremely challenging and will test the souls of even the most strong.
Through it all, Dwight held on to the belief that he would one day leave his community in search of a different life. Then one day something happened.
Dwight noticed a post on Facebook that called out to Indigenous youth in remote communities to receive a one-year preparation college program. He knew this was his chance and despite being afraid he went for his dream.
Today, Dwight and his team of 3, created a campaign called #WeSeeYou which addresses the current challenges that First Nations youth face while living in remote communities. It also encourages them to create a vision for themselves through the personalized and impactful presentations designed by the Ballantyne team.
Dwight and his BC Mom Denise and girlfriend Alexis have been travelling to these remote communities bringing inspiration, hope and the message, We See You since September of 2019. They were loaned vital camera equipment to document their journey but have since had to return it.
With your help, we want to raise the necessary funds to help this team to acquire their own 'forever' equipment. This gear will ensure they can continue to document the journey, the stories, and educational content that can be shared all across Canada.
Today we have set a modest goal of $2500. Any support, any donation can be powerful and impactful. Each dollar is funding this dream and important cause of helping Indigenous youth across Canada to be seen.
We also ask that you share this through your network. Share it often and help to amplify the voices bringing change where it's needed.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BALLANTYNE PROJECT
Vital Equipment for the Ballantyne Project