Thursday, June 21, 2012

National Aboriginal Day and Canadian Citizenship

How many Canadians knew today was National Aboriginal Day?  Considering it wasn't front and centre on one of Canada's largest and most read newspapers - The Toronto Star - I can't blame you.  Read more here.

I think today should be as important as Canada Day, considering if you're not native to this country (and no, even if you're a direct descendent of Champlain, you are not native to Canada) you need to pay respect to the people that let us immigrate and settle their lands.

So, from me, and everyone at Christopher's Thoughts (yes, I do have many people that help me out with content, ideas, and links for this blog), I say thank you to all of Canada's Aboriginal peoples.

Thank you.

I attended a Citizenship Ceremony this morning in Mississauga and was asked by the Institute for Canadian Citizenship to host a round table discussion with a group of individuals being sworn in as Canadian citizens that morning.

It was my first time attending a Citizenship Ceremony and I'll say it was a great experience.  I think born Canadians take it for granted the logistics and privileges of what it means to be Canadian (I'm not talking about drinking beer and watching hockey), but it really hits home (for me at least) to see the joy in someone's face when they get that certificate and talk about their experience.

Leaving out discrimination and racism and a new language for some, it's not easy for immigrants and new Canadians.  It's an uphill battle and we oftentimes look down on those taxi drivers or convenience store workers that are struggling with multiple jobs just to make ends meet for themselves and most importantly their children.  And this all the while being appreciative of the opportunity of being in Canada and having the chance to work hard to meet their goals and dreams.

Kudos.

And I've never sworn allegiance to this country (and the Queen), so I did today.  And I sang the Canadian anthem with pride and in my best early-morning Drake voice when the time came.

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