What does it mean to be safe and free in the context of a colonial state when it is celebrating its sesquicentennial? The front lines of Indigenous struggle are everywhere, now: from the prairies, boreal forests and rivers to city streets, in classrooms and in the buildings of Parliament. In a world where our very existence is criminalized and our presence is defiance, Indigenous people are forced every day to live in a world built by their colonizers.
Settler colonialism demands Indigenous erasure for the purpose of claiming Indigenous land. It is the symbolic and real replacement of Indigenous peoples with settlers who attempt to claim belonging.
The real problem with Canada 150 celebrations are the stories that the state is attempting to tell itself and everyone else. Specifically, that it has legitimate authority to make laws and policies, or even imagine a future, without Indigenous partnership. Any celebration of the state, the nation with its assumed sovereignty, stories of expansion and settlement or nation-building in general, replicate settler colonial narratives and are an insult to my ancestors, to my people, to me.