Dear Canada

Most of you know that I am a proud Canadian! Today marks Canada’s 150th birthday. For many Canadians, this means indulging in summer cocktails, barbeque dinners, fireworks, and much needed relaxation.

But I think of my country now … Canada, you are my home and I think about what you mean to me.

A strong reason to celebrate this “anniversaire” is that it is a time to remember what was lost for our indigenous peoples. There is much debate over this year’s Canada 150 Celebrations as a result. Many feel that it is insulting to celebrate this birthday, given the way our First Nation peoples have been mistreated.  There is much to think about here.  It is not a positive chapter in Canada’s history.  Yet I wish to honour these facts as a truth.  Once we have owned that truth we can try to repair the damage and we must. 

It is not by alienating others that a vast community like “Kanata,” the Huron-Iroquois word for village or settlement, is built but by embracing the differences that make us uniquely Canadian. Canada is a land that has opened its’ bounty to a multitude of peoples, my parents included.  Arriving with little more than a sewing machine, from The Netherlands, they made a life with little more than courage and determination here, like so many of our brothers and sisters.

I worry that we are not doing enough. The federal government is spending millions of dollars on events and marketing for the festivities, yet many of our indigenous peoples are still living in poverty and struggling to find enough resources to survive. The Mi’kmaq Warrior Chief is making it his duty this year to remind Canadians of our imperfections.  

I agree that there is still much work that needs to be done in order to make amends with our indigenous peoples. I think it is important that they, along with all of our brothers and sisters in this diverse nation, feel understood. We live in this country together, complete with our imperfections. I think it is important that this Canada Day, as Canadians, we work to make this beautiful country feel like home to everyone.  

I want to share my gratitude for living in this peace-loving nation. Canada is a magnificent country, home to people from so many different walks of life. It is a place that anyone should be able to call home. A place where we can all find opportunity and growth to thrive. 

This long weekend, I am enjoying the weather, gardening, and spending time with family.  Despite the many invites I received to go to various cottages in this beautiful province, I remain at home to handle the mess that Mother Nature delivered in the form of rain and resulting floods.  So I will bring the party here instead.  I will celebrate with some of daughters with the specific goal of lounging by the pool and soaking up some sun.  The break will do me good.

We will visit the local farmer’s market and enjoy breakfast at my favourite local hangout, Pia’s on Broadway.  There may be some shopping involved too as I love the array of gifts and kitchenware at Pear Home and the sinful delights at Noinkees.

I am grateful for the opportunity I have to walk among the many diverse peoples in Canada and to wear my red and white with pride.

Happy Canada 150!

Tansi and much love,

Tosca

PS. Please share your Canada 150 story here. Celebrate!