Today is National Aboriginal Day, which we celebrated last year and this year with reflection in a natural park setting. As a Black Canadian with a family from the West Indies, I notice many parallels between the Black struggle and the Aboriginal struggle against colonialism and white supremacy. We are both struggling to remember and honour the language, names and ways of our ancestors. We were both ripped from what rightfully belonged to us, and had it savagely taken away; then were called the savage ones for added insult.
There is a push to make National Aboriginal Day a statutory holiday, one which I would gladly celebrate because this land I live in is not my land. This land belongs to Aboriginal people, and now they are all but invisible in a society that stole and destroyed their heritage and homes. I would much rather celebrate this day than Canada Day or Victoria Day. What has Queen Victoria ever done for Black people and liberation? The holiday would force people to be conscious of the tragic effects of colonialism, and to attend Aboriginal events, learn about the real history of Canada and give back to Aboriginal communities so they can rebuild themselves.