The Sad Truth About Racism in Canada

it exists

Tammy Peterside

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Photo by Silvestri Matteo on Unsplash

The year is 2021, I decide to take a walk as there is little else that can be done on a hot summer day during a pandemic. I pass the Legislative building around the corner — think Capitol hill or the parliament building for those in the US and UK respectively. I hear laughter and a beating drum and decide to see what socially distanced display might entertain me. I see about 3–4 indigenous women in their traditional attire seating on the steps of the building, shoes displayed in front of them. The shoes look like they belong to children. They are sober and mournful, they are the source of the music. Further up the stairs, I see a giggly teenager, she is dressed in a beautiful blue gown. She has just graduated from high school and is taking pictures with her friends and classmates at the legislative building. There are more teenagers scattered here and there, taking pictures, chatting, waiting. It suddenly strikes me the dichotomy that exists in this space. On one hand, I see laughing teenagers with their friends and parents happy to continue on to the next stage of their life. On the other hand, I see mothers, sisters and friends mourning the loss of children they never knew were buried with futures they will never see.

Let me Explain…

The sad truth about racism in Canada is that it exists. When making comparisons between Canada and the US, Canada is often flaunted as the more soft-spoken sibling who apologizes too much. Kimberly Banks in an article for Business Insider lists some reasons she prefers Canada over the US, I agree with most of them. I also know as the less rambunctious child in my family, I got away with a lot of things my siblings would not have gotten away with. I was subtle, fully equipped with persuasion, disguise and top-tier negotiation skills. Maybe this is the reason I am weary of the soft-spoken sibling.

  • A couple of days ago, 751 marked graves were discovered near a former residential school in Saskatchewan Canada. News reports say that “It was one of more than 130 compulsory boarding schools funded by the Canadian government and run by religious authorities during the 19th and 20th Centuries with the aim of assimilating indigenous youth.” This is in addition to the graves of 215 children that were found in another former residential…

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Tammy Peterside

Data Enthusiast | Creative Storyteller | Mental Health Advocate