Editorial: Start a conversation

Tuesday, June 21 2016

Today - June 21, 2016 - marks the 20th National Aboriginal Day in Canada.

A day set aside for communities throughout Canada recognize and celebrate the history, traditions, and diverse cultures of Aboriginal people in Canada.

It’s also a day to consider how the non-Aboriginal communities of Canada can work towards a future which recognizes, and honours, the entire past history of both cultures.

The history of what colonization meant for the First Nations. Of what impacts are being felt to this day.

The Witness Blanket is a huge opportunity for Canadians of all ages and cultures to gain an understanding of one part of the history of the First Nations - a part which the rest of Canada bears a responsibility for. Without understanding that part of our history, we cannot move forward in a future together. Without recognizing what the Witness Blanket represents, we cannot have the conversations we need to have to continue to all live in the country called Canada.

There are many Canadians who struggle to understand or comprehend the true scale of damage done to First Nations people across Canada. Many are wanting to hear, but are going to need help to get to where they need to go.

For twenty years (officially at least) we have set a day aside. It’s a good day to start having those conversations.

There are many more days in the year to keep them going.