Today is Canada Day, and although it may seem like no harm can be done by celebrating, the opposite is true. Canada being an occupied country since before the creation of “Canada” has harmed Indigenous people in many ways. The Canadian government has been more than aware of the systemic issues that Inuit, Metis, and First Nations People face in Canada, yet have done next to nothing in order to create any kind of change. With the recent discoveries of the remains of children on and near Residential School sites, there has been a period of mourning for those children, and to disregard that today so that people can set off a couple fireworks and celebrate the genocide that the Canadian government imposed on Indigenous people is simply wrong. Here are a few things you can do today instead to show your support and solidarity with Indigenous People.
One of the easiest ways to show your support today, rather than sporting a Canadian flag or something red, wear something orange to show your support. There has been a collective agreement over social media that today, we will wear orange, rather than wear red.
Have some conversations
As colonizers, we have a responsibility to have difficult conversations with people. Some people may not be aware that we are cancelling Canada day and wish to know why. It is important to emphasize the sadness and grief that Indigenous people are facing today, and to recognize that celebrations today would be tone-deaf. It is important to explain that Canada day represents the colonization of a land that was already occupied, and that this day also celebrates the genocide that took place, and continues to take place in various forms today, against Indigenous people.
Educate yourself and others around you
If you are still unaware of the things that took place within Residential Schools, the way that Canada came to be a “country” or the reason that we are cancelling Canada Day at all, it is incredibly important to sit down and do some research. There are various sources across the internet that we can use to better understand what Indigenous people have faced over the past decades and the way that generational trauma has a serious and long-lasting effect. It is crucial in this time to understand our place as non-Indigenous people, to know our role and to be able to educate others on how we can better aid the Indigenous community today and every day.
Support Indigenous-owned Businesses
Paying reparations to Indigenous people is incredibly important right now, so find your local Indigenous-owned businesses and support those today. Supporting Indigenous businesses every day is important and just another way to show your support and even learn more about Indigenous culture. Being educated about this topic is one of the best ways you can be supporting the Indigenous community right now.
You can also make direct reparations to Indigenous people in different ways, below you can read more about reparations to Indigenous people.
Lastly, leave your ignorance behind. It’s always easy to take the path that benefits you and not others, but us non-Indigenous people have so much work to do regarding reconciliation and peace for Indigenous people. Use this day to educate, have important conversations, and the difficult ones when necessary. Being an ally to Indigenous people is the only option in this situation, and being an ally requires that you put the work in, that you take the necessary steps and that you show up for the Indigenous community every single time.
You can read more about cancelling Canada Day here: