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Canada Day

Caution - the reason the following is difficult to read is the reason it is difficult to actually enact change).

I'm happy to live in this country, in a mostly-democratic nation with a functioning (not perfect) social safety net. I love my country, and like my love for others, I don't have to love everything about them. In order to really understand myself, others or my country the first step is knowledge. This requires reflection, honesty, and often putting a temporary pause on narrow self-interest.

Our country, through the organs of Christian churches, was responsible for the rape and murder of many indigenous children. The duration and degree of this abuse was made possible via the implicit aim of cultural genocide.

I've seen the residue of this myself, teaching yoga in a school gymnasium in Moose Factory Ontario. In that school there was a series of posters depicting First Nations people. One poster that stood out to me was of an elderly woman smiling, and the caption read "I'm sure glad I don't live in the bush anymore". This was roughly 2009 if I remember correctly. I don't know how long that poster was on the wall, or if it is still there.

In this school library, there was a set of books with the title "Mythologies of the world". There was a book about Hinduism, Greek mythology, First Nations mythologies, Australian aboriginal mythologies and so on. It was a pretty comprehensive collection, with only one mythology missing - Christian mythology. That's most likely because the authors of that set of book didn't see their religion as a mythology - they saw it as the truth.

If you believe you possess the truth, and that the culture and people that are in your way don't, that is the first step toward what happened here in Canada. If you are looking for truth and reconciliation, you cannot continue to lie. One of the lies is that your god is the right one. Another lie is that you have the authority to impose your god on others. That is what those responsible for the rape and murder of these children believed. They also believed that through their god's forgiveness, no matter the sin, they would still end up in heaven. In this perverse mythology, those same murdered children, if successfully converted, would occupy the same heaven as their rapists and murderers - making heaven a hell.

I don't wish to cancel Canada Day. Canada Day can become a day of reflection, not a celebration. How about a few minutes of silence, of consideration, as an act of personal responsibility.

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