Over the past month we’ve shared numerous facts about all of the rotten things done throughout Canada’s past and present. In the final days before Canada Day, we’d like to tie these facts together and explain *why* Canada is such a miserable place for millions and millions of people.
Canada is a settler-colonial country. It was founded on the genocide of millions of Indigenous peoples, and has continued to keep Indigenous peoples subjugated to this day. From the passage of the Indian Act, to the pass system, to the reserve system, the Canadian state has gone out of its way to pacify, assimilate, and exterminate Indigenous peoples. Canadian colonialism is primarily concerned with control over land and therefore the resources contained in and on that land: it sees Indigenous peoples as expendable barriers to economic development. It is colonialism which allowed the Canadian state to forcibly starve Indigenous peoples on the prairies to “clear” the plains for the Canadian Pacific Railway. It was colonialism which allowed the Canadian state to send thousands of Indigenous youth to their deaths in Residential Schools. It is colonialism which causes the clean water crisis today in Indigenous communities across Canada.
Despite claims about “reconciliation”, there can be no Canada without colonialism. And in turn, there can be no fundamental justice for Indigenous peoples while colonialism continues to exist. It is only through ending Canada and the achievement of full national self-determination for Indigenous peoples –which means full control over their lands, resources, people, and futures- that the wounds of colonialism can begin to be reversed.