Dakelh Territory, Prince George: The Carrier Sekani Tribal Council (CSTC) is celebrating National Aboriginal Day on Wednesday June 21, 2017. Just days away from Canada’s massive celebration of its 150th Anniversary we reflect on this day the historical treatment of Indigenous Peoples and look to the future as Canada endeavors to change flawed and strained relationships.
For First Nations the celebration this year will be for 150 years of resistance. After a millennia of flourishing in this land now called Canada, First Nations will reflect on their loss of language, culture, family members and friends. They continue to this day to struggle with intergenerational pain and suffering, suicides, violence, police abuse, poverty, racism and sub-standard healthcare, housing and water.
Tribal Chief Terry Teegee remarks, “Yet we are optimistic as we have a growing youth population with many pursuing an education while maintaining their connections to their communities, culture and identity. Our voices will be strengthened and our political influence will increase as we continue to push for a social and economic transformation.”
The challenge for the people of Canada, as the upcoming anniversary celebrations rapidly approach, is to humble themselves, take a step back and reflect on their legacy. To endeavor to understand the unpopular history and stories that paint the picture of what Canada is really built upon and to begin constructing a new vision, as originally envisioned so many years ago in the treaties, of mutual respect, prosperity and protection. This would be a Canada to be truly celebrated.