I’ll be teaching First Peoples English again this fall, and I am thinking about basing an assignment on responding to the discussion on Canada 150/Resistance 150. Here’s what I have so far–feel free to download and use it in your own classroom.
This year marks the 150th year since Canadian Confederation. The sesquicentennial has been branded “Canada 150” and there are plenty of celebrations planned. The Government of Canada Website says
This year, the Celebrate Canada festivities will be bigger than ever! They will highlight the evolution of our country from its Indigenous origins (with National Aboriginal Day); the contact with the French and the birth of our Francophone heritage (with Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, Fête nationale du Québec et de la Francophonie canadienne); through to more recent waves of immigration that have led to the development of a diverse and inclusive society (with Canadian Multiculturalism Day). These major celebrations will culminate with celebrating Canada Day.
Despite the efforts to incorporate indigenous people into the sesquicentennial, Canada 150 sits uneasily with many First Nations and Aboriginal people.
#Resistance 150 is an alternative to Canada 150:
a project intended to highlight the many ways Indigenous peoples have historically resisted, and continue to resist, what many see as discriminatory and assimilationist policies of the Canadian government, such as those regarding pipeline construction, access to drinking water and child welfare funding gaps. Perhaps most importantly, the Indian Act itself.
In this CBC article, Adam Beach speaks about balancing his role as an indigenous artist with being one of the 150 Canadians asked to be an ambassador for Canada 150.
On The Current, Anna Maria Tremonti interviews several indigenous activists about their opposition to Canada 150 and the alternative awareness raising activities they have spearheaded.