Give Us a Place To Stand
On July 1st, Canada celebrates another glorious year with a mid-summer statutory holiday. Canada as a country 'officially began' back on Monday, July 1, 1867 with the enactment of the Constitution Act. People have been celebrating this day each year and called it Dominion Day for 115 years until 1982.
The Red Ensign
Prior to 1965, the Red Ensign flag was flying proudly and underwent four formal designs from 1707 to 1965 as shown on The Canadian Encyclopedia.
As with new transitions, there was strong resistance to preserve the old traditions.
Before the official change to the maple leaf design we see today, many people petitioned to keep that flag flying.
Despite the objections to the new design, the Red Ensign did retire to be replaced by the new Canadian maple leaf flag.
The Canadian Maple Leaf
After 1965, the maple leaf flag made its debut. New generations celebrate Canada's birthday with a bright new red and white flag.
In 1967, to celebrate Canada's Centennial year, Ontario created its own song called, "A Place to Stand". The YouTube audioclip below shows the original RCA record cover when it was released.
Also called, The Ontario Song, the verses described a place that every nationality could stand, live, and grow freely. It was an optimistic tune for the time.
Indigenous Peoples who lived here before colonization and immigration began did not experience the same benefits after Canada became a country. Many of Indigenous children grew up with sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and assimilation into Western culture in Canadian residential schools. In the Sixties Scoop, Indigenous children were taken from their homes and put up for adoption by non-Indigenous families. It amounted to cultural genocide.
As of February 2018, the Government of Canada proposed The Recognition and Implementation of Rights Framework. This framework aims to, "include new legislation and policy that will make the recognition and implementation of rights the basis for all relations between Indigenous Peoples and the federal government going forward." These first steps hope to offer Truth and Reconciliation to the Indigenous Peoples of Canada.
The Virtual Reference Library offers digitized historical images of the Indigenous Peoples:
As Canada continues to acknowledge its social inequities, we hope to begin to celebrate the achievements of our country as a whole.