Henn on CANADA DAY

Just My Opinion
Eva Henn

A commentary and opinion as written by Eva Henn, author of her memoir, “Towards the Light


I, for one, will most certainly be celebrating Canada Day as I have for many previous years. I think back to sixty-three years ago when my family and I arrived in Montreal as refugees. My family was thrilled and was reminded many times that we arrived in Canada, the land of opportunities. Indeed, Canada has given my family, as it did to many other refugee families the many opportunities to succeed. Most will make the most of it. Therefore, Canada is an outstanding country with endless possibilities.

The bad things that happened in history to the present day in Canada resulted from frail human beings who were the leaders and the politicians who made terrible policies, bad judgements and bad decisions for the country as they stumbled along in their governing.

The discovery of the graves of Indigenous children is riveting, shocking and sad. But let us and the politicians at higher levels take this opportunity as a teachable moment and put flowery rhetoric and language into positive actions. No more committees! No more debates! Action is the most decisive way to change.

There must be more collaboration with the Indigenous people. The beginning of history must be recorded in history books for students to learn at every grade level. There must be more stories from the various tribes to showcase their culture, language, and heritage. These are the things we must reconcile.

Education is the primary key to understanding our early history, native people, and desire to preserve their culture. Every new Canadian must have these stories in the Canadian Citizenship Booklet to read and understand the early history of Canada that includes the native Indians before the coming of the European fur traders.

But there is hope for change because through education; we start to reflect and reconcile the wrongs committed to a part of our society that we rarely talk about, but we all know that this nation began with the natives.  

We educate; we reflect; we reconcile, but cancelling Canada Day will not bring us closer to the history of Canada, which includes the native Indians. We show respect more for the lost souls of the Residential Schools through our actions.

Happy Canada Day to everyone!

Éva

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