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CONTRIBUTION · 9th July 2011
Susana Deranger
Our Home on Native Land: The Celebration of Colonization in Canada

As people across Canada mark the 144th anniversary of Confederation on July 1st, I cannot find reason to celebrate alongside them.

Every Canada Day, I reflect on the continual theft of my land and resources, on broken treaties, on the genocide of my peoples and the refusal to recognize my sovereignty. I sit and wonder if the Palestinians could celebrate the settlement of Israel. Could the Irish celebrate England; the Tibetans, China; or the North Africans, France?

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Enaemaehkiw Túpac Keshena (Susana Deranger) is a member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation and has been an activist and an educator involved in First Nations and human rights for a great part of her life. Susana lives in Regina, Saskatchewan and is a mother of four children and a grandmother of four grandchildren.
Comment by Pat#1 on 6th August 2011
Do you mean Fort Chip? as in beyond Fort Mac and Fort McKay? as in oil sand country?
How Sad...
Comment by Noel Braucher on 18th July 2011
Wow, the quality of some of the news articles on this website sure are going downhill fast... to see an article inciting racial tension and intolerance and burning our flag is not only disheartening, it's misguided. People of all races, creeds, cultures, and religions in this modern day server our country both in Government and in our Canadian Armed Forces. To write hate like this only serves to turn our fellow Canadians against each other.

I have nothing but respect for any people who desire to want to learn about their own ancient culture, histories, and traditions and celebrate them - but to use that as a vehicle to divide against other peoples is evil regardless of when it is incited and by whom in history.

It's long past time to stop it with this and move on...
A Dene in Cree Territory?
Comment by Dene and proud of it on 18th July 2011
Hmmm... I am thinking that perhaps the author has, for all of her education, not really lived the life she espouses.

First of all, as somebody who has spent time in the Dene communities (particularly the Sayisis Dene of northern Manitoba), I find it interesting that she is living in the territory of the historic enemy of the Dene. Regina is part of Treaty 4, between the Crown and the Cree and Saulteaux nations.

If it was not for the freedoms offered by this country, she would not have the freedom to live in Cree territory. And regarding theft of resources, lets remember that the Navajo and the Dene are one and the same. The nation was split when another group divided us into two, and forced one part north and one part south. We have always been nomadic, and would get our resources from the land - we did not own the land.

Yes, we have had problems in the past but to dwell on them will prevent healing in the future. To believe otherwise is to open old wounds - a war club buried under a newly planted tree was never to be used again.
'Indian land'
Comment by Alfie McDames on 12th July 2011
As usual, the responses to these kinds of proposals are extreme from one side to the other and make it impossible for anyone to have a meaningful and maybe even enlightened discussion.
Comment by ernie 2 dogs on 11th July 2011
i get it
however my opinion is to move and as a status Indian i prefer to see the opportunity for all aboriginal people, i come from a very humble background and dont take what i have earned through this great country called Canada.
i believe life is complicated but we also make choices i prefer to make choices that lead to my own self sustainability. I thank the Creator for the blessings he has given me an my family.
burning our flag????
Comment by concerned canadian on 10th July 2011
Susana Daranger... Is that You in the photo burning our flag?? And your website. it looks to me as you are already preparing to go to war with canada again by the pictures on your website. I don't deny what has happened in our country in the past. however. that is the way life. war has conquered nations since the beginning of time. and is still doing it today. DON'T excpect that to change. NOW the only problem i have is that all these bleading hearts don't really want to move forward and become a part of canada as they say they do. they just want to burn our flag, attack our people, protest, road block, show there anger through any means neccesary. And continue to call canadian soil their land. and the dumbest means i have found is by picking at an old scab and making sure it bleeds alot for everyone to see. why does this continue. can't you see this isn't your land anymore. and if you do think it is then let's do this. But i really think you should join canada and canadians and be a part of our society off your reserves and just be another culture among society like the rest of us.

And if canada really wanted something to be embarrased about it should be the exported uranium that will be the death of the whole planet eventually. not some minor skirmish.
one people
Comment by me on 10th July 2011
we are all one people; time to join the real world and take a step forward not backwards!!
My Country, my home.
Comment by Mr. Peters on 9th July 2011
As one who was not born in this country, but moved here as a child, I love this country. I have served this country in the military and have traveled across this great country with great joy.

If you think this as still "your" country in stead of ALL Canadian's country I suggest that you and those who think like you pick up arms and attempt to reclaim it, see how far that gets you. I for one would not hesitate to defend this country.

I do not understand how you can say that there were 2 million natives here prior to Europeans coming. I do not think that they took a census of all the different tribes, you did not even have a written language so you could not have recorded the population count even if they did take a census.

You can either embrace all the advantages that the Canadian society has to offer you, or you can die in the past as there is know way you will be able to go back to living in a non-literate mobile hunter-gather type society.