The mood around Canada’s 150th anniversary is bittersweet. But that was predictable, surely, in our tense historical moment of roiling indigenous mourning-fuelled anger and self-abasing white-privilege guilt. The birthday is serving less as a unifying celebratory moment than as a reminder of who emerged as the winners and losers in Canada’s journey to nationhood.
I’m a winner. I’m the grandchild of immigrants to Canada who were escaping religion-based persecution, and whose issue made good here. But I am also a member of an indigenous people who achieved cultural strength despite a long history of serial dispossession, continual persecution and the worst genocide in recorded history. So while I feel sympathy for the plight of Canada’s indigenous people—storm-tossed by historical waves they were helpless to control—I don’t feel personal guilt over it. This is a reasonable position, or at least would be, if we lived in reasonable times. But we don’t...That's for sure. We live in times when, for two days running, the CBC leads its morning radio newscast with a teepee story, thereby furiously and frantically signaling its own virtuousness to all those (me included) who are foolish enough to listen.
Update: Trudeau visits teepee on Parliament Hill.
Hope he's wearing his Pride t-shirt and "Happy Eid" socks.