Posted in Canada 150, Canada remembers, celebrations, Reconciliation

Tattered

The shirt isn’t old by my standards but the screen print on the front is tattered and cracked. It feels like perhaps there is a parallel here that I need to examine.

I purchased it in 2017 in Ottawa for the 150th birthday of this nation. I wore it then with pride…

It was, for me, a year to celebrate all the greatness of Canada. The wonderful geography, the people and the places that make our country unique. I wrote about the trip and Canada extensively that year and have them all filed under Parks Canada 150. I rejoiced as guest bloggers added posts about their Canada.

But here’s the thing and perhaps I just didn’t see it then. Maybe we were tattered around the edges in 2017 but there was more window dressing on top of the cracks? Or perhaps I’m just naïve and nothing really has changed in the last 5 years. Perhaps we’ve spent the last 155 years tattered. I listened to an interview with Buffy Sainte-Marie and she said she faces, daily, racism and the effects of the Federal Government policies since from before Confederation.

But again I want to believe that Canada can live up to its potential. That we can face our past and what colonization did to the original inhabitants of this land. With those truths recognized I want to believe that we’re can all work towards reconciliation. And that we welcome newcomers whether they be from Eritrea or the Ukraine. That race or colour or religion doesn’t get in the way of our living the Canadian values. Again I suspect that these views are either naïve or that I look at the world through rose colored glasses. I wish that was otherwise.

Last year the flag was at half mast as we faced more bare truths about the long term impact of  the residential schools. Which is fair in my opinion. There are many reasons to celebrate but in light of colonization and white privilege it has now become significantly harder. But perhaps we can take a page from our newest province. Newfoundland celebrates Canada Day in the afternoon. In the morning they honour and recognize those who fought in the First World War under the Newfoundland flag. Somber and reflective and yet forward facing. It’s just a thought.

It hasn’t even been 5 years rather hardly 5 months, since flying a Canadian flag became a sign of protest? Disrespect? I feel saddened that in the capital of our country, there is likely going to another freedom rally.  Freedom from what I’d like to know? We all vote. If we don’t like how things are going then the best way to address that is by actually a) voting, b)keeping our elected representatives honest by communicating with them and c)bringing to light concerns with suggestions for improvement. Going to our capital and running amuk proves nothing except that this group seems to like to hear themselves talk. About radical off balanced ideas. If you want to know just how crazy some people in Canada read about this and shake your head.

I took a picture of that slightly tattered shirt. It still has a few good years left in it before it becomes an “at home work shirt. It sits on the quilt that has seen some better days. It has been unstitched and new material put in and the quilting redone. The binding wore right out and had to be replaced with a superior design one.

Perhaps our Canada is like these items. It needs some new and some old. It needs respect for what it originally represented and some solutions for working together going forward.

Happy Canada Day.

Bernie

Ps fellow blogger Jane nailed it with this post O Canada

Author:

I have had a love of the written word for my entire life. It's no surprise that eventually I found a platform where I could write. It's random; sometimes funny, occasionally sad, maybe even at times from anger and I lean towards creative photography and hands on crafts. I have a few blogs that high light these interests.

18 thoughts on “Tattered

  1. This was a very thoughtful post. I read it three times. I’m not sure I would have ver known about the crazy Q woman if you hadn’t provided that link. Still, Canada looks pretty darn good to me with all the special folks in the news here.

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    1. Thanks Tracey for the comment about the post…sometimes I find it hard to blog happy go lucky stuff when the world seems to be imploding. Certain days seem to call me to be more introspective and Canada Day is definitely thst. Yes your country certainly seems to be filled with a lot of turmoil at this time. Take care and good to hear from you. Bernie

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  2. Today in Banff there was no parade, but people from all different cultures came together to express their love of Canada and their belief in a shared, positive future. I was proud to be part of this and it gave me hope.

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    1. Yes Jane’s post was so so good. Hence the link up. We do indeed have much work to do but we are talking about it. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Hope you enjoy your National holiday. Bernie

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  3. I really like what Newfoundland has done. There is a large museum in St. John’s called The Rooms that I visited in 2019, filled with Newfoundland history and a whole section dedicated to its efforts in the Great War. I recommend a visit if you are ever there.
    I don’t know if the same would work for Indigenous people…I think they would see NOTHING to celebrate about Canada Day, and who can blame them? Not I.
    I used to love to celebrate Canada Day but given what was done to the original peoples’ and the misuse of the flag by the FreeDumbers, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Luckily (for me) it is also my daughter’s birthday so I choose to celebrate that instead, now.
    Deb

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    1. We loved The Rooms and wish we had more time there. My concept for the am was that we all reflect on our past and aim to spend the time moving forward on reconciliation. Cool that you have a Canadian kid!!

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  4. Canada is Canada and we are Canadians because we have gone through bumpy patches along the road and no matter how tough the going got, we kept going. My flag flies proudly not because of how we got here, but because of who we have become on the journey. Most of us are not afraid to acknowledge that many mistakes were made along our way to 155. But, it is not the mistakes that were made that define us, it is how we face those mistakes and how we make them right. Happy Canada Day Bernie and may we continue to try to do and be better. Not better than other nations, but better than we were. Allan

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  5. Well said, Bernie. We’re far from perfect, there’s no doubt about that. But most of us WANT things to be better. Today, on Canada Day, I’m going to celebrate the good things, which in my mind includes something I believe we have in Canada that seems to have gone missing in many parts of the world: hope.

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  6. This is something that I believe we both agree on. The so called Freedom Rally was in fact a sad and dangerous act by a group of people who don’t have the best interests of Canada at heart. I have heard from many people that after that sad display and abuse of our flag many people take no satisfaction from the sight of it. The flag has become a symbol of a threat to Canada and our law and order way of life. I hope that the militia (which I now believe that they are) will fade away but I don’t think that they will. Many people support them in the misguided belief that they stand for something honourable. They now drive around with oversized flags on their vehicles as if to say that they watching us and waiting for their time. They stand for insurrection. Of that there is no doubt. If we continue to take our democracy for granted the radicalized militia will sieze the moment and act. People are naive to believe that they actually care only about mandates. What mandates? That was a farce from the beginning. I see them as a very dangerous group that poses a real threat to our Canada. You mentioned white privilege, the Freedom Convoy is the embodiment of white privilege and a people who care nothing for other people. They only care about themselves. I could go on but then my comment will become a blog in itself.

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    1. Your response is perfect and I think how so many Canadians feel. I agree that the hidden ones inside are way more dangerous than we think. They were indeed waiting for the right “opportunity” to do evil. It has certainly turned our flag into something it was never meant to be. Good to hear from you and hey this one didn’t end up in spam! Bernie

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      1. If you release it for public viewing, please edit the comment to correct the word “dive” to read “drive”. Thank you Bernie.

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