Today, Canada marks its 153rd anniversary of confederation as a nation. I am grateful that I am a Canadian … for so many reasons.

Today, Canada Day, I wear this special mask created by a friend using fabric celebrating this country when I am ‘out and about’ because COVID19 continues its ravaging spread and I want to do my part in helping to flatten the curve.

Today, this Canada Day, I honour and pay respect to the reality that I live on unceded aboriginal land – meaning that Aboriginal Title has neither been surrendered nor¬†acquired by the Crown / government. We’ve been here for 153 years. They’ve been here for over 15,000 years.

Our history with the people of the land was not good, long ago.
It is not good, now.
We must do better.

May we respect the traditions of these people
… may we honour their love of and care for the land and waters around it and the animals and life that live on the land and in the waters and the lessons they can teach us
… may we do more to enhance and ensure the safety of indigenous girls and women, locate the missing and murdered indigenous women, bring them home to their loved ones, and locate and try those who were responsible for their murders and abductions
… may we stop pointing fingers at “those people” and recognize our role in their sense of helplessness, anger and fear by our colonization, racism and sexism
… and may we all be united in our common fight against COVID19 – be mindful of maintaining social distance standards, wear facemasks (keeping both our mouth and nose covered), handwashing again and again and again.

… the gentle “Mamawi” (Cree for “All together”)
… the powerful “prelude” of Richard Harrison (2017 Canada’s Governor General Award Winner)
… the exquisite scenes of this country from coast to coast
… and may the powerful words of our national anthem “God keep our land, glorious and free” sung by Revv52, a Calgary-based performance ensemble of over 50 singers representing all walks of life, encourage us to to do our part in keeping our land “glorious” and “free” from any adversary, including COVID19: wear masks when out in public, maintain social distancing, wash our hands and stay home as much as possible.

Today I celebrate Canada Day. May this be a safe, healthy, peace-filled and Happy Canada Day and nation and continue to be country that is “glorious and free.”

© June Maffin

Happy Canada Day!