I’m not celebrating Canada Day

The year-long lead-up to the celebration of Canada’s sesquicentennial has amazingly lacked awareness of how much this has been a celebration of colonialism in much of the country. It’s not like it’s been absent from the news, though. The whole spectacle has only reinforced the current government’s broken promises regarding reconciliation and recognition.

I want to acknowledge that I am a guest on the land that is territory of the Huron-Wendat,  Haudenosaunee, Anishinabek, and Mississaugas of the Credit River.

Here’s a few thoughts for those who want some basics. I want to be a part of a country that recognizes its past, and makes true efforts at reconciliation – not just talk. For more information about Unsettling 150, check the website – there are events listed in a few cities. The book promises to be interesting reading today.

The Native Land website is a great resource for learning more about where we live.

One of the most interesting things I’ve come across at a job was this video about a hydro power project. It looks at some issues like self-determination, and balancing tradition and a modern economy. It’s the kind of story we don’t hear about otherwise, while mainstream media is full of emergency mental health, food, water, and shelter situations that don’t get properly addressed or assisted by the government.

Because this blog has felt like it’s mostly about my cultural consumption, here are a few  links of interest to me:

First Story – A blog (and app) to understand the Aboriginal History of Toronto, and get information about cultural events around town.

Daniel Heath Justice-Has an ever-expanding list of Indigenous Speculative Fiction, and other resources regarding Indigenous Literature.

Some authors I’ve already mentioned include: Nathan Adler and Cherie Dimaline. There was a list of Indigenous writers released concurrent with Canada Reads, but it doesn’t seem to be available anymore. There are a number of lists available online, like the CBC Canada Reads list, the 49th Shelf, this Room Magazine list, a Buzzfeed list, a Goodreads list, and this one from Muskrat Magazine. There are also plenty of Aboriginal presses, like two favorites Kegedonce Press, and Inhabit Media. Here’s a whole list compiled by the University of Toronto library.

Tanya Tagaq– When I finally heard her music, I didn’t understand why I had waited so long. Then I saw her perform, and even from the balcony with little visible, I was blown away. Here’s a video from a few years ago that only barely captures what it’s like.

I just found out about this concert for Light in the Attic’s Native North America compilation album. I’m curious what it will be like, and hope it doesn’t sell out before I get tickets.

The ImagineNative festival is something I haven’t really supported as much as I’ve meant to. Atarnajuat (The Fast Runner) was voted Canada’s #1 film of all time, and I keep missing it on the big screen.

 We can’t forget Kent Monkman‘s art in relation to 150.

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