A day to commit to our duty as Canadians

Wednesday, June 30 2021

Canada Day will be recognized this year, but in a way that is quite different than it ever has been before.

Canada Day, this year, is a much more serious occasion.

Canadians have much to be proud of.

As a nation, we have much to atone for as well.

We as Canadians are at the critical point where everyone - and we do mean everyone - should realize that the country many of us are proud of has been created at the expense of millions of Indigenous lives.

Right now, in this year, and likely for many more going forward, we are collectively being called upon to reflect on how this country has come to be - and what we can do to create a place of justice, a place of reconciliation, and a place where Indigenous peoples and settlers can co-exist.

The unmarked graves announced here in BC and in Saskatchewan are a confirmation of what Residential School survivors have already spoken to many years ago.

Too few of us were paying attention when the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) issued its reports and calls to action in 2015. 

Too few of us were paying attention when survivors were courageously coming forward to relive those memories to prove to us that this really happened in Canada. 

Too few of us have yet to read even the Calls to Action, let alone the entirety of the Truth and Reconciliation Reports.

Far too few of us have read the survivor accounts witnessed and recorded by the TRC. 

Read The Survivors Speak at nctr.ca/records/reports

Canada Day is a chance for Canadians to take steps on a difficult road.

The 94th and final Call to Action is for the oath of becoming a Canadian Citizen to be changed to, “I swear (or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, Her Heirs and Successors, and that I will faithfully observe the laws of Canada including Treaties with Indigenous Peoples, and fulfill my duties as a Canadian citizen.”

This Canada Day, every Canadian should be committing to faithfully observe those Treaties, and fulfill all our duties as Canadian citizens.