Canada Day 2021: a time to reflect

This year on Canada Day, July 1, let’s pause, learn and reflect, and stand in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples.

Leaving your homeland — whether for opportunity, love or safety — and adopting a country as your own is a big, courageous decision. And Canada has been a beacon for such immigrants and refugees looking for a new country for a long time.

As we support newcomers in their settlement journey to find belonging in their new country, we must do better in making them aware of the injustices of the past and present in this country, and how we must all be part of the solution forward. Creating mindfulness that as non-Indigenous Canadians, we are uninvited guests who have claimed resources and opportunities within a colonial system is a responsibility that DIVERSEcity, as a settlement organization, must lead with.

The recent horrific discoveries of mass unmarked graves of young Indigenous children has re-shed a harsh light on the tragic story of how Canada came to be, and how much reflection, work and healing is still needed. Despite Canada’s ugly past of injustices, there can be no denying the need for unity at a time as this. There can be no other way forward than together.

As an organization, DIVERSEcity will endeavour to create space to understand and share with future immigrants the harsh reality of this nation’s history.  We will create opportunities to listen to those with lived experience whose legitimacy has been stolen, continues to be stolen and may very well be stolen from future generations.  We will also share cross-culturally the parallels many refugees and Indigenous peoples share in their history as a way to build bridges, empathy and mindfulness.

So, this year on Canada Day, July 1, let’s pause, learn and reflect on how the Canada that we have adopted as settlers came to be. Let’s stand in solidarity with Indigenous Peoples, as there is no healing or reconciliation until we recognize the injustices of the past, see the errors of the present and move forward in unison with the truth acknowledged. We are not complete until there is a place for all of us.

— DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society

Indigenous Resources

In our own journey of learning at DIVERSEcity, we are compiling resources that help us better understand Canada from the Indigenous perspective, and are sharing these resources for our clients, staff and peers. See them in our Resources section here.