The problem of systemic racism was not created overnight.
Today as we celebrate the country that we call Canada, let’s remember that the formation of the constitution 153 years ago brought forth the bureaucratic persecution of indigenous people that has lasted for generations.
Through the injustice, indigenous people have fought for change both in momentous and revolutionary ways like the Delgamuukw court case that challenged the crown and paved the way for indigenous rights around the world. And through other actions that have resulted in policy or paradigm shifts like the Columbus Day Ships takeover.
But change has also been born through persistence over a century of dismissals, hardships, and opposition in daily, unseen ways.
Before the arrival of European immigrants, the Gitxsan ran an effective matrilineal society governed by its own set of laws that ensured a harmonious relationship with the land. Today, the Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs are exercising their right to self-governance and claiming sovereignty over their traditional territory.
In 150 years from now, we believe that we can have a better country where ALL people have a fair chance to build a life of freedom and prosperity.
On this Canada Day, in a pivotal year for the world, let us commit to embrace awareness and actively pursue change together. Persecution is perpetuated by ignorance as much as prejudice.
Sign up to watch the film that describes the Gitxsan Huwilp Government’s fight for change: https://mailchi.mp/0f7b81e2016e/film-sign-up
In 1971 representatives of the Gitxsan & Wet’suwet’en peacefully boarded ships sent by the Spanish Government to North America to commemorate Columbus Day. They successfully set off a chain of events that has resulted in Indigenous People’s Day replacing Columbus Day in regions around the world. Individuals can change history.