Sad to be Canadian

A Canadian flag defaced with the words, in french " Long live a free Quebec"

     There some things that makes me ashamed to be Canadian. History is the study of past events, particularly in human affairs. This said; three Canadian history things that make me ashamed are to be Canadian is because of Canada’s Treatment of Japanese Canadians, Native issues, and Separatism and Regionalism.

     Firstly, during times of war or other national emergencies, the government of Canada has the right to use the War Measures Act. The War Measures Act is a law which allows the government to suspend certain rights of its citizens. It can, for example, arrest people without charging them with a crime, censor the news, impose price controls and rationing or seize land. In his in mind; 23,000 Japanese Canadians were put into internment camps for three years. Most had lived on the coast of British Columbia, and the government claimed that they might help Japan to attack Canada or spy for the Japanese. Their houses, cars and fishing boats were confiscated and sold, often for only a few dollars each. The Japanese Canadian men were separated from their families and put to work making roads or growing sugar beets in places as far away as Ontario. The work was hard and conditions were hard. The women and children were allowed to run schools and clubs in the camps, but the food was poor, conditions crowded, and some died from disease. This is not a big deal compared to how native people were treated on their own land.

Japanese Canadian family forced from its home.

     Next, a native member, Elijah Harper, of the legislature of Manitoba, refused to support the premier’s call for extra time to debate the Meech Lake Accord; he effectively ended any hope of the Accord bringing Quebec into the constitution. Harper, like many natives across Canada, believed that the aboriginal cultures of Canada also constituted a distinct society, and deserved constitutional recognition. Earlier that year, a native community in Quebec became embroiled in a bitter struggle for land claims that eventually led to the involvement of the Canadian military. Native land claims were a particularly contentious issue. The Canadian Government, in collaboration with many different religious communities, including the Catholic one, built schools to assimilate native children into Canadian society. This included forcing students to practice the religious traditions of the residential school, learning the English language, living away from their reservations, being dislocated from their own family and religious traditions, and in some cases abused physically, emotionally, or sexually. I’m still ashamed even though on May 10th 2006, the Government of Canada has approved the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement. This will provide surviving natives of residential schools with compensation for the abuse of their rights and freedoms.

This picture captures some of the cultural changes in the native community.

     Finally, Separatism, it takes place today with Quebec. Separatism is a separation of a certain group of people from a larger body on the basis of ethnicity, religion, or gender. We are called a peacemaking nation but can’t kept peace in our nation. In Quebec in October 1970, the Quebec Separatist group (FLQ). They kidnapped James Cross, a British civil servant working in Quebec, and Pierre Laporte, Quebec’s Minister of Labour and Deputy Premier. Pierre Laporte was murdered by the FLQ when their demands were not met swiftly enough, and the federal government, at the request of Premier Bourassa of Quebec, declared a state of emergency in the country and invoked the War Measures Act.

     Therefore, I’m ashamed to be Canadian because of Canada’s Treatment of Japanese Canadians, Aboriginal issues, and Separatism. These issues were part of Canada’s black history.

People of Quebec want to be separated.


Wikimedia Foundation. "Japanese Canadian internment." Wikipedia. (accessed July 29, 2014).

"Land Claims." The Canadian Encyclopedia. (accessed July 29, 2014).

Morton, William Lewis. "QUEBEC SEPARATISM." . (accessed July 29, 2014).

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