Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Oh Canada Day Eh? History, Culture and Land




Last night as per my usual routine, Sunday evening I listen to some of my favourite shows on CBC Radio, My Play List, Tim Tamashiro's jazz program, and This American Life with Ira Glass, while I made baskets.  Then again, I am always listening to CBC Radio. I ended up posting on Facebook last night what I was listening to, and admitted that I have a co-dependent relationship with CBC Radio, and half jokingly said it's what makes me Canadian. This statement is really more true than I think.
My friend's mother shared with me that she's been listening to CBC since 1936, and mentioned some very interesting history about what she'd listened to over the many years of her life.  I thanked her for her comments, and thought to myself how much I have learned from CBC Radio over the span of my sixty years, and how Canadians grew up with radio. I believe this fact does reflect our Canadian culture, with CBC Radio being such a wonderful, educational, and informative resource. Where else or how else can we find out what is happening across this vast, mostly rural country, in such a intimate way that makes you feel like you are close to your fellow Canadians.
I have lived in just about every province in Canada and loved each province and Territory, but Nova Scotia is home for me.

I been thinking about what to blog about since my last post, had a few ideas, but couldn't seem to find and focus on one that I felt passionate about, until this day, Canada Day. I heard two programs this afternoon that seemed to encapsulate how I am feeling. Two words that most come to mind are nostalgic, concern, and pride for my country and culture. I got invited to come out and celebrate but I'm content to be blogging this post, pan fried flounder for supper, and then doing some painting for a special project I was asked to do, all while listening to the radio.

I am very proud and happy to be Canadian. No question. I am not so proud of our history related to so many Canadians that have been and continue to be marginalized, discriminated against, and yes even hated in the past, up to present day. It may be not overt as it once was, however the repercussions and consequences of this still are being played out in activism and movements like Idle No More, ongoing land claims, and Treaty rights etc.

Living in the North West Territories for several years, and having a late husband who was of Metis ancestry, I have always taken a special interest in First Nations people and concerns. I relate to the spiritual traditions and philosophy, following The Red Road.

The story of Louis Riel in his own words, is a vital and very significant part of Canadian history, that every Canadian should know about, what happened to him and why. It paints and colours the very fabric and identity of our country, and what it means to be living in Canada, within the context of this history, culture and land.





As a Maritimer from Nova Scotia, I feel strong ties with the land, and the sea. Both are a big part of my heritage. My ancestors were farmers, sea folk and coal miners. Music and creative endeavors are on both sides of my family. I have lived in just about every province, and Territory in Canada . I've loved each place, but my roots are in Nova Scotia, which will always be is home to me.

The break down of the family farm, the commitment to good stewardship of the land and sea, are all issues I think about a lot, with great trepidation for our future, and for our children's future, considering the state of our world, on a local and global scale.

The Change In Farming is an an award winning, PRIX ITALIA 1999, Best Cultural Radio Documentary about musician, Adam Goddard's late grandfather, Henry Haws, produced by Steve Wadams. I've heard it several times and I have posted it in the past. I think it is well worth posting again, and hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Henry Haws was quite the character, and what a wonderful grandfather to have. Each time I enjoy it immensely, and have great affection for this wonderful elder I've never met. He has much to say about the land, and Canadian culture. He has much to teach us if we listen closely.
Elders and those that have gone on before shaped and built this country. If I make the time to find out just what those contributions were, perhaps I can continue to make a positive difference, learn from their mistakes, and learn lessons from what they got right.


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