if you're either
a) canadian or american
b) very sensitive
i suggest staying very, very, very far away from this.
very far away.
(i'm talking to you, US and Canada)
was built on blood and bones
and hate and wars.
do not pretend otherwise.
do not pretend that we have not
crushed others and committed genocide
so many times over that our country
could be thrown in jail for so many
counts of manslaughter that we are,
by all accounts, a monster.
we make our home on lands
bathed in crimson and soaked
in the horror stories of those that
came long before we were born.
i am not proud to be Canadian.
no. i am not proud of the bodies
we are standing on to be here today.
let's not even talk about how
PM Harper seems to think that
our economy is more important
than our human rights initiatives.
we turned away a boatful of Jews
in world war two, and they all
most likely died right after.
this is not the country i
was brought up believing in.
this is not the country i
was raised to support, born to live in.
this is not the country i
have lived in my entire life.
we are afraid to teach about
all the Aboriginal peoples we
exterminated when Europeans
settled in this land, in this country.
history class should talk about
the true "Canadians" who we killed.
who we shot before they could speak.
do you know their names?
they were never given a memorial wall.
they called us visitors,
and we maimed them in return.
what about all the slaves?
did everyone our society
murdered ever get a chance?
let me answer that for you -
no, they didn't get a chance.
they never did.
look at history -
my history, my history.
that's where my mother's side
began, in france. we were protestants (huguenots)
driven out by St Bartholomew's Day Massacre.
what happened? what always happens -
some people were different,
so other people tried to kill them.
yes, there's more to the story,
there always is, more sides, more facts.
but i do not have time for those.
anyways, we were driven out,
there's a huge blank period
where we have no idea what happened,
but in the end, we were still french.
and then we went to Canada,
we came here, we stayed here.
that's where my father's side
began, in scotland. i do not know
my history on my father's side,
but six generations ago, we came here.
we stayed here. we became Canadians.
this is my history.
well, it's my family's history.
mine involves more words,
rainbow flags, and a hell of a lot
less years involved in the entire thing.
my house is built upon where there
used to be barren land, fields,
forests, crops, villages.
i do not know. there is a lot i don't know.
but the point is - what is here now,
what has been here for a while now,
was not always here.
everything you see now
is new by a Timelord's standards,
it is flimsy and temporary and
the only concrete things these days
is what you choose to believe.
i know culture. i have seen it.
i have seen it in powwows,
in my mother's friend, who is a chief.
i have seen it in Aboriginal stories
that a storyteller told me years ago.
but these days? none of my
family's culture is left behind.
my grandmother on my mother's side
taught me french, and that is all.
i only know the culture of this stolen land,
of the grass i sit upon that does not belong to me.
they tried to kill the first Canadians.
(they succeeded, a lot. too much for even
the most experienced homicide cop to stomach.)
and then, they tried to do what the Supreme Court
has finally acknowledged as "cultural genocide".
they tried to wipe a people out.
and so many languages, so many lives,
so many things to be taught.
(residential schools are the stuff of nightmares)
so don't you dare tell me
that this land is a clean one
as i choke on recycled air.
do not tell me that Christopher Columbus
was not a horrible man and yet
America still has a day dedicated to him
(what's up with that, US?).
to those states that no longer celebrate it:
i commend you. because, you know what?
i agree with you.
but i am Canadian.
my vote is not yours.
my country is separate.
Lewis and Clark
couldn't have done anything
if not for Sacagawea.
Christopher Columbus didn't do, well, anything.
you can't 'discover' a country that has more than hundreds
of people already living on it.
and are we just ignoring how he tried to find a shortcut to India,
and then didn't. he kind of failed at his purpose.
also, he named Aboriginal peoples
(i'm not using the term "First Nations peoples"
in this because that doesn't include the Inuit)
well, he named them "Indians".
um, hello? "Indians" kind of implies that they're
well, that they're from India.
and they aren't. what the hell?
you can't just waltz in there and take over.
well, not morally. he did, however, do it.
he waltzed in there and killed a bunch of people
and then said, "i am so great".
and then everyone else said, "yeah, you are."
so, there is a day dedicated to a man who
sold, murdered, raped, beat, and took over
the original occupants of Canada/America.
explain this to me again.
no, please, tell me how this is rational.
(plus, roughly 500 years ago, Vikings were there.
just, you know, pouring salt on the wound.)
this is not my country.
my country is not this land,
this land was never mine,
my country is the Canada
that i dream of, my country
is the new generation
ready to come and
wash all your sins away.
(better get your soap ready.)