Many Indigenous people don’t celebrate holidays partially because every day we are given is supposed to be treated as a sacred day. This day in particular is a challenging day for many of my people because awful things have been done in the name of these colonial countries intentionally and without remorse. Unfortunately consumerism, unchecked capitalism and a throw away society have become synonymous with Western culture and the dominant Nations on North America. If this is what you are celebrating today then I could never support it.
I don’t hold it against the people of Western culture, many of whom are my friends and whom I love dearly, but I see some painful and dark truths when I look at what these flags represent.
If you can acknowledge the dark history and find a way to to check the continued destruction wrought by the worst parts of Western culture then – and only then – can we talk about reconciliation.
Our people survived some awful things and have had to give a lot over the past several centuries. Repairing that damage cannot be done without some sacrifice on the part of the people from the dominant nations. There is no way around that but I am hardly asking for a sacrifice from the people of the dominant culture that is comparable to the sacrifice of the people original to these lands.
I am asking for understanding about why I won’t celebrate this day. I am asking that those of you who are waiving the flags understand what that flag has represented for an entire race of people. I am asking if you celebrate this day to take a moment and celebrate every other day, be thankful for the gifts we have on this planet, and that you take a moment to remember the sacrifices of my people.
I hope today is a happy day for you. I also hope yesterday and the days before were good and I hope tomorrow and the days after are good for you too.
In Peace and Kindness.