For most, Canada Day is a day off. Depending on your politics and/or heritage, Canada Day is usually a time to dress in red and white, go to Parliament or the cottage, and toss back 26s (pronounced two-sixes). Other than to bask in the sun with a drink on a day off, it's not really a time to give thought to the larger historical narratives at play.
For others, the privilege of ignoring those historical narratives isn't an option. In fact, it highlights Canada's past and current treatment of Indigenous, Métis and Inuit people. But this year, Canada Day is different. For the past year, from sea to sea to sea, Canada has been preparing for #Canada150: our sesquicentennial as a nation. Because of this, whatever feelings of celebration that otherwise would have been there have been amplified 150-fold.
In light of Canada Day festivities this Saturday, July 1st, Ottawa - Canada's capital - finally reached a breaking point. Last night, on 28 June 2017, the Bawating Water Protectors [Sault Sainte Marie] arrived in Ottawa, Canada - a city on unceded and unsurrendered Algonquin territory in a nation built on conquest - for a four-day public ceremony, called Reoccupation, to reject this weekend's July 1st Canada Day celebrations.
As taken from the FB event:
The goal of this call to action is to reaffirm our rightful claim to these lands as the original caretakers of Turtle Island, and to demand the repatriation of the territories that were and are illegally seized by the Canadian state. This is not a celebration of Canada, but assertion of indigenous self-determination and sovereignties over our lives, lands, languages and cultures, among other aspects of living Mino-Bimaadziwin [the good life].
[Cover photo: Twitter user @SCTN35]