Sisters, Brothers, and Friends,
June 21 is the day set aside as the day to celebrate the Indigenous peoples of Canada. This year, 2017, marks the country’s 150th birthday. The birthday celebration conversation has non-Indigenous celebrants voicing pride in good fortune gained through hard work. This Indigenous non-celebrant voices sorrow that generations of my ancestors have been brutalized for 150 years by this country’s laws. Today. Still.
Many Indigenous communities have no safe water to drink nor bathe in. Our Indigenous schools are not funded to the same level as provincial schools. Our families are still being destroyed and our children are still living in poverty. Theses are facts. Many self-medicate to manage the painful legacy inflicted upon them. I am not celebrating 150 years of this.
It hurts to learn the facts and the history and how it impacts us and our children. We need to find the way forward, in a good way. Do you know the facts and history and impacts? Do you want this country to be celebrated, for its equality, honour, human rights? Would you learn and share your knowledge? Would you change laws? Would you create better laws? Would you change attitudes? Would you support making National Aboriginal Day a national holiday? It would be one amazing step to honouring the original inhabitants of this land.
All my relations,
Ruby Langan, Indigenous member
Ruby Langan is the former PSAC BC Regional Council Coordinator for Aboriginal People