In Solidarity and Ni-Kso-Ko-Wa (all my relations),
I will celebrate “Canada Day” when the natives do
By Omar Shaban
This statement is in response to all the speculations and assumptions made about me in the media regarding a position that I took in a personal message on facebook. My facebook status did read “F*** Canada Day”, and it was followed by a few other comments in response to some of the questions that people posted. Some consider that taking this position is disgraceful and shameful but I tend to disagree.
First of all, my statement clearly did not reflect CAF’s position; it was my own personal opinion.
Secondly, I said “F*** Canada Day” and I regret the dark history that this country has. On our silent government's behalf, I apologize to the indigenous people for this, and sincerely wish it had not happened to you. I apologize to the indigenous people of Canada because their feelings are not taken into consideration at “Canada Day” celebrations. I apologize to them because they had to be slaughtered, killed, massacred, diseased and dispossessed to establish Canada. And I apologize to the indigenous people because they continue to live in reserves under miserable and dire conditions that no so-called “Canadian” would accept to live under.
I also apologize for being a citizen of a country that followed George Bush’s orders and went to Afghanistan. I apologize for being a citizen of a country that imposed sanctions on the Palestinian people because they followed Canada’s own advice and elected a new government democratically. I apologize because it was Canada’s own Lester Pearson that masterminded the notorious Partition Plan of Palestine, and it was Canada’s own Paul Martin who compared Canada’s values with Israel’s values, and it was Canada’s own Michael Ignatieff who legitimized Israel’s onslaught on Gaza in Dec 08/Jan 09.
I did not resign from CAF because “it was felt that [I] had to correct that” and that “[I] decided that the best thing for [me] to do was to resign" (http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/2009/07/02/9997971-sun.html); I resigned from CAF because I do not want to be part of an organization that openly refuses to acknowledge Canada's colonial and shameful history.
We are only lying to ourselves if we deny the dark past that Canada was founded on. Canada Day is seen as tragic by its true indigenous population. When Canada Day is celebrated for true freedom and not mourned by the indigenous population of Canada for its colonial and dark past, I will gladly show them my support. When the country I was born in, shames me with its colonial mindset, I refuse to celebrate it, and will not apologize for refusing to do so.
I WILL celebrate Canada Day, only when it is accepted as legitimate by the indigenous people.