This article by Susana Deranger appeared in the July/August 2011 issue of Briarpatch.
Susana Deranger is a member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation and has been an activist and an educator involved in First Nations and human rights for a great part of her life. Susana lives in Regina, Saskatchewan and is a mother of four children and a grandmother of four grandchildren.
As people across Canada mark the 144th anniversary of Confederation on July 1st, I cannot find reason to celebrate alongside them.
Every Canada Day, I reflect on the continual theft of my land and resources, on broken treaties, on the genocide of my peoples and the refusal to recognize my sovereignty. I sit and wonder if the Palestinians could celebrate the settlement of Israel. Could the Irish celebrate England; the Tibetans, China; or the North Africans, France?
It would be strange indeed to celebrate the birth of a nation that stole my land, forced hardships on my peoples and won’t recognize my place in this nation or all that my ancestors lost and sacrificed for this home on my native land.
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