Eight years ago the Ontario government approved a new Landfill Site in north Simcoe County. It would be 50 acres situated over the Alliston Aquifer, which runs into all the Great Lakes. About 30 Anishinabe and Metis people camped out for weeks at the proposed site in protest, attempting to protect the land and what is known as “the world’s purest water source.”
I visited the vigil site, sat down by their Sacred Fire and asked a stupid question: “How long have you been here?”
I meant “number of days demonstrating.”
The answer given was: “Generations.”
Those two levels of meaning come to mind for me this Canada Day 2017. To celebrate 150 years of Canadian culture ignores a long and rich First Nations history that predates Confederation. Therefore our masthead in this issue includes the “+” that Vancouver and other cities have added to sesquicentennial events, as a small way to acknowledge the history of Indigenous people in Canada.
By the way, the North Simcoe Landfill project was cancelled. It was eventually deemed “too large of a threat to local groundwater.” The protestors were successful!
Meanwhile, articles in the June 12 issue of CC explore questions of national identity and ask: “Is Canada truly a country of Reconciliation?”
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