Today is Canada Day. In fact, It’s our countries 150th birthday.
We have been told to celebrate with a sense of pride for our countries achievements. Our government, as well as many larger businesses in Canada have infused massive amounts of money and energy into marketing this day as special. We have parades, fireworks, all sorts of celebratory events, lots of Canada day paraphernalia and big sales at many businesses. 150 years is a big marker, a special thing and we should be proud of it, right?
So why did I wake up today with a deep sense of morning, loss, guilt and a tinge of resentment?
Well, I’ll tell you…
A little over a week ago I watched a video on FB about why some Indigenous people were calling out Canada for its 150th celebration. It brought together many feeling I was already experiencing, and really got me searching myself for some level of healing to this situation…
If you would like to watch this video, here’s the link but please stay with me for a few more moments to explore this feeling a little deeper.
Basically it boils down to the fact that at a base level, what we are celebrating today is the methodic eradication of the many cultures of people that lived on this land before us.
And, Canada was one of the most aggressively dominated colonizations of the western world. Taking away every aspect of culture we could and enslaving generations of youth in boarding schools, in order to straight up steal one of the largest pieces of land on the planet.
When put in that light, you can see how this can make one feel a real sense of loss on this day.
Within a few generations, 1000’s of years of indigenous wisdoms of working with this land were mostly eradicated.
Yes, there were a few people that were able to keep some of these traditions alive, but in reality it is only in the last generation where many have been scrambling to re-claim this knowledge, and doing so with little success.
Heres a personal example of the loss of culture I have seen..
In 2015 we had a Herb Gathering here on the Island with the theme, of “Honouring our Herbal Elders”. We brought herbal Elders from all across the country together to celebrate their service to keeping herbalism alive and strong. Despite our efforts, my father and I were unable to get a herbal elder from the Komox First Nations (where we live) to come to the event. We tried on several occasions to ask at the reserve and in our community, if anyone knew of a First Nations herbal elders we could contact, and sadly, no one could help us, no mater who we asked. This is the reality everywhere in this country…
There are very few who can teach and share these oral traditional wisdoms that took 1000 of years to evolve…
So, today I morn this loss…
but I also have to look at a deeper level of grief, guilt and responsibility that is eating away at me on many levels.
What’s that you may ask?
Well, it’s myself, my family, my culture, and my genetic heritage that are responsible for these crimes against humanity. These crimes of Genocide, and the brutal acts of mental and spiritual enslavement against all those who were in our way.
I have to live with the fact that my ancestors straight up stole this land.
So how do we sit with these types of feelings?
The only way I know how to step out of this sense of suffering, is to do something to bring awareness to it. To really own and acknowledge it and yet become bigger than it.
So I can use the energy of pain, loss or guilt as fuel for creating the changes I want to see in the world.
Today I write this with that intention…
I am sorry… I am guilty… and I am ask for forgiveness…
I live a life of luxury off the backs of an unpaid debt to the land I inhabit and the people who lived here before me.
These are my crimes to own, and they are likely yours as well…
From this place National Pride is no longer an option. It is a false sense of security and happiness.
Yet, because this is what the mass consciousness is focusing on today, I can use this heightened sense of psychic energy to really touch into a deeper level of awareness in myself, with others, and with the land I inhabit.
Today I will go for a walk in the wild lands and ask for forgiveness…
I make a vow to share awareness of this injustice, as it is not only here, it has happened in every corner of this planet.
I share this message, and dedicate much of my efforts to teaching and learning deeper ways of showing up that are more in tune with the world we live in.
I dedicate myself to learning ways that are in flow with nature and the planet as one consciousness, ways that have been shared with us by indigenous cultures from around the world for thousands of years..
In respect for all those who have suffered from these crimes, I once again, ask for your forgiveness on this day and every day moving forward.
© 2017 Yarrow Willard