My parents, like many other Tamil immigrants, fled from the civil war in Sri-Lanka in hopes of rebuilding their lives in another country. Canada’s generosity allowed our family to live, thrive, and contribute to society without the fear and hardships that come with war. I feel truly blessed to be living in a land that is not only free but also accepting of all the different races and cultures that are lucky enough to call this country “home.” I’m grateful to be raising my three kids in a country which prides itself on defending the rights and freedoms of individuals, celebrating diversity, and promoting equal access to healthcare for all. For the above reasons, we choose to be grateful and celebrate Canada day.
However, celebrating Canada Day also means acknowledging the violence, genocide, and oppression faced by Indigenous peoples. I would like to see the country that we fondly call home, take responsibility for the violence against Indigenous people, respect their rights and way of life, abide by the treaties put in place to protect them, give them veto power over their lands, eradicate poverty amongst the First Nations, resolve the water crisis, and more. Until then, I will remain responsible for educating my children on the true history of this land because I don’t want the history of the Indigenous Peoples to be erased and forgotten much like the history of my Tamil people. Happy Canada Day to all those celebrating! May we continue to grow as a country which respects, acknowledges, and celebrates the hertitage of ALL its people.
Thoughts? Leave them in the comments below!