IT’S THE DAY after fireworks and music and food trucks, the day when small glittery plastic maple leaves lie forgotten in the grass where yesterday’s crowds gathered to celebrate Canada Day.
Happy for many, the celebration has been controversial and painful for others. Indigenous people, who brought their peaceful protest all the way to Ottawa, spoke of broken treaties and basic human rights such as access to clean water that are sorely missing in some parts. There are 150 First Nations communities with water advisories in place, 71 of them in place for more than a year now, according to EcoJustice, Canada’s largest environmental law charity.
The reasons that First Nations held back from joining the celebratory parties going on across the country lie in the reality they carry with them.