Indigenous activists and allies engaged in a #Resist150 campaign in response to the 150th anniversary of the founding of Canada. Photo: FruittiLoopza
Canada | Opinion

Ray Cook: A Mohawk perspective on Canada Day and Independence Day

Two countries that took land from indigenous nations. Two holidays that celebrate their new-found freedoms. What's a Native person to do? Ray Cook, a citizen of the St. Regis Mohawk, offers a perspective on Canada Day and Independence Day:
At Akwesasne we are located between Canada and the United States. Yesterday, July 1st, was what they call Canada Day. The Canadians celebrate the British North America Act of 1867, which marks the day when three colonies united to create a single dominion under Great Britain.

I don’t recall that annual event being a big deal on the rez. Ever. But, everything shuts down in Canada and there is no work and not much to do but go fishing, eat fish, and gather the extended families. A time to see how everyone is doing; sing and dance around and eat, and later walk around from circle to circle and listen to the stories.

Last night we could see and hear thousands of dollars of fireworks blasting through the Cornwall, Ontario night sky. Pretty cool sight to see, but it is not our celebration. With Dominion came strict development and enforcement of the 1876 Indian Act, which isn’t much different than the U.S. federal law regarding Indians.

Read More on the Story:
Ray Cook: A Native Perspective on Canada Day and the 4th of July (Indian Country Media Network 7/4)