Today is a day to celebrate, apparently. We’re supposed to be going to educational events that tell us about the Indigenous humans who live in the country once called Kanada.
Kanada is the original name of Canada, and as someone who closely followed Martin Luthor King and Malcolm X, the thing about names really gets me.
This country was a place before the colonizers came, and like the Black folk who were enslaved, Kanada had everything about her land, (body) her water (mind), and her people (heart) stolen, and she even lost her name. She was colonized, in every single way she could be and today we use phrases like “the Indigenous folks of Canada,” when in reality, Canada isn’t even this country’s name.
I don’t think that today is a very good day to lie, so here it is. Indigenous folks have been fighting for centuries to be recognized, and Black folk is still fighting to be acknowledged in Canada, and because of this, we are often pitted against each other, instead of having the room to work side by side with each other.
This is deliberate, it’s done so that we’ll fight each other, instead of rebelling against the communities and societies that tell us that we shouldn’t be friends because they know that if Indigenous folk and Black folk learned to work together, we’d be hella Dangerous.
There is a thing happening around the world, where people from different cultures and ethnicities, races, creeds, nationalities, sizes, and orientations are speaking to each other finally. They’re starting to hear each other’s messages, and they’re starting to turn their anger, rage, resentment, fear, and hurt, into fuel and turning that fuel into flames that are burning down the old.
From teenagers fighting for climate change, fighting for the actual life of the planet, to adults focusing on world politics, and everything in between, this fight is here now. It’s our problem.
When I think of Truth and Reconciliation day, I don’t have the luxury of thinking just about the Indigenous people who happen to be surrounded by Canadians, I am thinking about those in America, in Europe, in China, in Africa. I am thinking about the Indigenous of the world, and I’d like to remind you that “Indigenous,’ means:
- originating or occurring naturally in a particular place; native.” The indigenous peoples of Siberia”
It feels amazing to know that my ancestors, and your ancestors, have descendants fighting together for Truth and Reconciliation day. Two years to celebrate this day, but 500 years to get here.
500 hundred years.
Of trauma, of pain, of sorrow, of joy, laughter, and tears under the guise of war, all these elements came together to bring together just the right people to make this day happen, so do yourself a favor and don’t waste it.
Spend it learning from those who know what it means to struggle, support an Indigenous creator, support an Indigenous cause or foundation, put your money where it matters today to uplift the arts and the history of the great Indigenous people of the world.
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall
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