This Canada Day, let’s take a moment to reflect…

As Canada Day is drawing to a close, a final item from another one of our fellow Canadian organizations in the Bay Area.

Today, July 1, is Canada Day.
This year’s holiday comes at a difficult time for Canada, as the country is forced to reckon with a history that has fallen far short of its image and ideals. The recent painful revelations about Canada’s residential schools and its treatment of its Indigenous population have shocked and saddened the country. We know that this year, many Canadians are having mixed feelings about whether we should celebrate at all.
At the Canadian Studies Program, we believe it’s important to present a balanced view of the country: highlighting the good where we see it, while not being afraid to confront the darker side of Canadian history. In our colloquia over the past year, we presented many topics where we felt Canada could serve as a model for other countries, such as its national healthcare system. However, we also attempted to bring forward voices from marginalized communities, such as Canada’s Black and Indigenous populations, that have suffered historic and ongoing injustices and continue to fight for equity.
This Canada Day, I encourage all our friends to take some time to reflect on what kind of country we want Canada to be. Our vision of Canada is a truly multicultural nation, one that respects diversity and honors its First Peoples. It’s important to shine light on the ugliest chapters of Canadian history and ensure that we acknowledge that pain, because without doing so it is impossible to move forward together. I invite you to review the Final Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples and the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and to visit the new site of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation.
Irene Bloemraad
Director, Canadian Studies Program
Canadian Studies Program
213 Moses Hall #2308 WEBSITE | EMAIL
Canadian Studies Program | Univ. of California, Berkeley, 213 Moses Hall #2308, Berkeley, CA 94720

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