UR Opinion

Canada's Identity

Aliesha Desjarlais

By Aliesha Desjarlais

Canada needs an identity. Canada's 'culture' is so watered down with so many other cultures that Canada has forgotten her First Culture! This country is so lukewarm and wishy-washy that every value and belief that's proclaimed is 'politically incorrect'. Canada has grown so worried about offending another person, culture and/or country, that in retrospect, we are offending who and what Canada really is. Please don’t get me wrong, I respect and value the other cultures and think everyone should have the opportunity to live in their identity, but to what cost to the First Nation Culture? Many friends of mine travel all over the world, and all over the world they are respected, they are looked at as being strong and other cultures want to have their pictures taken with them. But in Canada, they are thought of last, living on the streets, in jails or in third world conditions of 'reserves'.

Let me be clear that I am not of First Nation descent. I have been born of cultures and beliefs that I do not know and from a land I have never been. I have only known Canada and have often wondered what she stood for, while looking for my own identity, which I believe are entwined. My children are part of the future of Brokenhead Ojibway Nation and they are the two of many children who are lost in this 'lack of culture' that my fears are that they will never know, I mean really know who they are, where they come from and the language that is spoken from their first tongue. These facts alone is the reason I feel so strongly about this issue.

Who is Canada other than a younger version of her Big brother USA? We want to have what he has, be who he is without a thought of who we are! I truly believe that Canada still has a fighting chance to regain and embrace her true identity in peace with the other Nations who live in Canada, but it will take those people from ALL Nations who are not afraid to stand up and say and shout and even scream... ENOUGH! Let's come together to heal the hurt, learn from the past and build a stronger future that is grounded in the First Nation Culture without looking at what the USA is doing or wondering what others will think. Let's pick ourselves off the streets on main and the north end and be what we are were born to be! Let's shed the cloak of shame, poverty and addiction that was thrown on us and take up the languages, beliefs and traditions of this Land. Let all nations learn, understand and embrace the First Culture of Canada!

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