This month for me has been one of duality. We are nearing the end of National Indigenous History Month and a month of Pride celebrations. Like most of you, I have been listening and learning (unlearning) from the teachings of our country’s oppressed, specifically, the indigenous and 2SLGBTQ+ communities. I believe that it is in their stories, movements and celebrations that will lead Canada to end inequality, poverty and oppression. The duality of this is that while these celebrations have been vibrant and beautiful, we’ve also mourned the discovery and loss of indigenous children which has created a jolt of awareness, of trauma, and just how resilient the indigenous community has had to be.
In my recent studies of Theories of Social Change, I had the opportunity to discuss with my professor regarding my intellectual indebtedness and personal biases of Canadian history. He highlighted the importance of reading and learning from many different theorists/philosophers and in some cases the more radical theories to gain a wider perspective and to understand Canada on an international level. While I’m working towards understanding my own personal biases it is even more important for me to hear stories from those whose lives have endured pain due to our institutional systems. We’re often only told one story and for many of us, that has been a story that does not include the dark and light duality of Canada’s “beginnings” and current state. How do we move forward in a positive way without knowing where we’ve been as a country?
And so, in the theme of duality, I have committed myself this Canada Day to celebrate in the most Canadian way possible. And by that, I mean further educating myself on current challenges in oppressed communities, re-reading the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action and working out how those things could be implemented into my own business and community, and to support social movements that work towards equal rights for all.
So, I encourage us all, to be open to the dualities of a vibrant, Canadian future because nothing broken has ever been fixed without the acknowledgement and awareness that it was broken in the first place.
I wish you all a more Canadian day on July 1st.
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