As Canada’s 150th anniversary approaches, we at the Council of Canadians feel like it’s important to take some time to think about our relationship to this land and its people.
As we are called to celebrate Canada’s 150th, we must also recognize that the people who inhabit this land come from various parts of the world and that the history of people on this land spans back some 13,000 years, if not more. In this context, we must take the time to reflect on the oh so real impacts of colonization and genocide, as it has affected, and continues to affect, Indigenous peoples living on the land that we call Canada.
In the words of the late visionary, author, friend of the Council and Indigenous leader, Arthur Manuel, “Indigenous Peoples and Canadians who believe in human rights need look at Canada’s 150th Birthday Party as a period to undertake a commitment to decolonize Canada and recognize the right of Indigenous Peoples to self-determination.” 
Taking a firm step on the pathway to decolonization and reconciliation is something that we must individually and collectively reflect on, explore and act upon.
Here are some resources that we put forward for your consideration as you, your family, your chapter and your communities continue on this journey with the Council of Canadians:
Learn about the Indigenous nations on whose lands you live or work on. Learn about the Indian Act and the Treaties.
- Native-land.ca is a helpful tool to learn more about the Indigenous territories, languages, and treaties where you live.
- Government Recognized First Nations Communities map
- Inuit Nunangat Map
- For example, the headquarters of the Council of Canadians, in Ottawa, is located on unceded and unsurrendered Algonquin territory.
Learn about Indigenous history in Canada and dismantle stereotypes.
- BOOKS: We recommend the books Indigenous Nationhood by Pam Palmater, and Unsettling Canada by Arthur Manuel, as good starting points to dig deeper.
- VIDEO of Senator Murray Sinclair explaining why Indigenous people can’t just “get over” residential schools (1m33s)
- VIDEO of Wab Kinew on Indigenous stereotypes (1m45s)
- VIDEO of a Russ Diabo interview discussing the Indian Act at the height of Idle No More
- MAP - Treaties and land claims maps -- About treaties, short description
- MAP - Linguistic map in the 17th century
- MAP - Map of estimated tribal distribution at time of contact
- READ the sector by sector Call to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Other multimedia to explore:
- VIDEO of Poet Lishai on CBC: 'You are always an immigrant when you're on stolen land' (1m24s)
- Audio clip: CBC’s the Current discusses “What does Canada 150 mean for Indigenous communities?” (25m31s)
Take action to support Indigenous resistance and truth and reconciliation
- The Council of Canadians has supported the Canada Reads 150 call to read the late Arthur Manuel’s Unsettling Canada - A National Wake-Up Call
- Support the actions of Indigenous communities on national aboriginal day or on the July 1st Unsettling Canada Day of Action, including attending events, round-dances and talking about it on social media.
We believe that the Council of Canadians plays an important role to raise awareness about indigenous rights and reconciliation as they are closely linked to many of the issues of trade, water and climate justice that we work on.
The Council of Canadians aims to educate and broaden our awareness of the social and political issues of our time, and turning this awareness into action. This includes fighting injustice where it is found and reframing our understanding of Canadian history in relation to often invisibilized Indigenous nations and peoples.
It is ultimately because of people like you who donate, who read, who take action and share this important social justice work, that we can make our communities stronger, more open, and more resilient in the face of those who would divide us and exploit us.
 To read more of Arthur Manuel’s reflections on Canada’s 150th, and what decolonization can mean for Canadians and for indigenous peoples: http://mediacoop.ca/sites/mediacoop.ca/files2/mc/fnsb_aug_dec_16.pdf