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How will you be recognizing Canada Day this year?
As a relative newcomer to Canada from Denmark, I’ve been a North Shore resident for 20 years. During this time, I’ve had the privilege of supporting the MONOVA team for 6 years in various functions, currently as a Programs Assistant.
With Canada Day approaching, I wanted to take a few moments to share my thoughts. As an immigrant to Canada, it took a few years for Canada Day to become meaningful to me. However, as I became more connected to my new community, it grew in importance to me.
In recent years, as I have deepened my learning about the history of Indigenous Peoples in the country, the meaning of Canada Day has changed for me. Especially now in light of the recent discoveries of children’s bodies buried outside of residential schools in Kamloops, BC, Brandon, MB, and Marieval, SK, I’m finding it difficult to celebrate Canada Day this year. What I had seen as a celebration of freedom, safety and opportunity must always have looked very different to the families and communities whose children were lost at residential school.
For me, Canada Day 2021 will be a day of reflection. It will be a day to educate myself. And it will be a day to think about concrete actions I can take that will be meaningful in my own contribution toward truth and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.
I can’t help but think that if enough of us do this sort of thing, maybe gradually we can start celebrating Canada Day more thoughtfully, in a way that is more reflective of the complex and difficult history of Canada.
I don’t want to suggest that we can’t or shouldn’t celebrate Canada Day, but we need to change the conversation around nationalism and colonialism to make this day more meaningful. We need to acknowledge the true history of colonization, including the truth about residential schools, and look for ways to move forward together in a more respectful and inclusive way. Without truth, there can be no reconciliation.
That’s how I intend to recognize Canada Day this year. What about you?
– Lene Burgmann, 30 June 2021
Supporting Local Indigenous Communities
As part of MONOVA’s ongoing efforts to strengthen relationships with local Indigenous communities, MONOVA’s Indigenous Cultural Programmer Senaqwila Wyss has prepared a list of resources for ways you can support local Indigenous businesses, artists, and creators.
Learn About Local Nations
While we are becoming very accustomed to land acknowledgements, there is more we can do. Here are some resources you can use to educate yourself about the names of the nations whose lands you occupy, the languages spoken there and some more specific place names within those lands.
- Find out more of the local indigenous First Nations land you are on, if you’re at home or travelling throughout the territory.
- Squamish Nation place names in the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Sníchim (includes audio clips).
- Learn how to pronounce Squamish Village names.
- Musqueam place names with Hən̓q̓əmin̓əm.
Indigenous Businesses and Authors
- Takaya Tours of the Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nation
- Mr. Bannock Indigenous Cuisine
- The Story of the Squamish People: 1800-1900 by Elder Kultsia (Barbara Wyss)
- The Amazing Mazie Baker: The Squamish Nation’s Warrior Elder by Kay Johnston
- People Of The Land: Legends of the Four Host Nations by Aaron Nelson-Moody & Glenn George
Donate to Indigenous Charities
We rely on contributions, monthly or one-time gifts, to help MONOVA safeguard and expand our community’s archival and museum collections, build learning experiences and inspire future generations.
Donations are accepted through the Friends of the North Vancouver Museum & Archives Society, Registered Charity No. 89031 1772 RR0001.
We respectfully acknowledge that MONOVA: Museum and Archives of North Vancouver is located on the traditional lands of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations, whose ancestors have lived here for countless generations. We are grateful for the opportunity to live, work and learn with them on unceded Coast Salish Territory.