Monday, July 3, 2017

O' Canada

"My country is not 150 years old. My country is as old as the forests, as old as the rivers. As old as the first people, countless millennia ago. Even the name is old: Kanata. Not a name from king or conqueror. It means a village, a place for people to live." ~ Joseph McLean
I openly love my country and feel that I am fortunate to be one of the 36 million people who call Canada home. This year in particular, I have acknowledged and am fully aware that July 1st, Canada’s birthday, is a date chosen by a group of European men who claim to have settled this country, my ancestors. You see, I am little white woman who has had a privileged life and have been incredibly fortunate to never have had to be plucked from my family and treated with such unworthiness. We are flawed, I know this. I know that the people of the past in my country, have committed atrocities that should not have occurred and that these ways of treating people have had a resounding effect on other individuals within an entire culture and generation, and that this has carried on to another generation and another and it is time to reconcile. I don't want to just pass this off and pretend that enough years have gone by and people should be over this. I want to remember so that mistreatment doesn't happen again.

I personally apologize for my ancestors and will continue to listen to all of the people of my country with an open heart, but an apology isn’t all that is needed. I too want to reconcile a friendship and what better place to do this but in the Canada of today, where we are free to have these dialogues and fully open conversations with each other so as to understand and respect our amazing diversity and past misunderstandings and treatment. 

"Beginnings are scary. Endings are usually sad but it's what's in the middle that counts. So when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up. And it will." ~ Ramona Calvert

The how of doing something is always the challenge, but as I read and listen, reflect, say and do, I hope that I too will learn how to live a life of utmost respect and peace, with and among all people of this beautiful country of ours because "hope is a verb with it's shirtsleeves rolled up" ~ David Orr

O, Canada...

~ Ellyn

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