CANADA DAY: WHY SOME CELEBRATE AND OTHERS DO NOT

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Canada Day is just around the corner on July 1, 2015. So what is Canada day and why is it such meaningful and celebrated day across the country. Canada Day is celebrated each year as a way of commemorating the founding of the Canadian Federal Government by the British North America Act of July 1, 1967. Essentially it is the independence day of Canada and it is a national holiday. People all over the country gather and celebrate this day with pride and happiness. It is a day where people are celebrating national pride as this day outlines the unionization of the British colonies both in Upper and Lower Canada. This year, the people of Canada are celebrating 147th year of independence.

On this day communities and cities celebrate throughout the day with different festive events such as picnics, barbecues, activities for children, live music, drink bear r things. Every corner is decorated with red and white and people are all dressed up in Canadian attire. Most importantly most residents are most excited about the fireworks.

Most people at some point have said “I am Canadian” including myself, but what does that really mean?

Most individuals answer this question by saying being Canadians equates to freedom and the ability to make your voice count at the same time stand up for what you believe in. The term Canadian has association to belonging, unity, peace and often considered a privilege by many Canadians. Lastly, Canadians pride themselves in being part of a multi-culture society where every race is accepted with open arms.

If this is what most individual individuals living within the country believe being Canadian means, then what to non-Canadians think?

The perception of Canadians from an outsiders perspective is that we are all amazing hockey players/love hockey, we live in the cold, are extremely friendly and we take care of the less fortunate. I can relate to this because during my travels when I conversate with someone and the minute they know that I am from Canada they right away they speak about how Canadians are so friendly and loyal. It feels nice of course for someone to say that but is that really misrepresenting Canada and Canadians in general because after all we are not a perfect nation.

The first part of this article was dedicated to what is means to be Canadian why do people celebrate. In this section I will go over why thousands do not. Many people believe that the Canada day does not represent patriotism or freedom, it actually celebrates a dark history; the colonial history. So what history is are they referring to? of course the Indigenous history. The history of land and resource theft, broken treaties, the extermination of identity, culture, religion in the  Indian Residential Schools, and the assimilation and genocides of the Indigenous people of Canada. By celebrating this day most Indigenous people believe that people are celebrating oppression and not ‘multi-culturism’ or anything else it claims, and people are forgetting or do not know what they are really celebrating often. In addition to this we cannot ignore the fact that we live in a country where privileges such has heat, water, housing are equally distributed throughout the country but that is not the case as we have many Indigenous communities where they lack the basic necessities. 

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