There have been a number of articles recently criticizing the Harper government for attempting to re-build the Canadian identity. These viewpoints are based on the notion that in a return to or acknowledgement of our British connection, we are discounting everyone else who hasn't enjoyed it.

 

It would be interesting to hear the viewpoints of others on this subject? I, for one, find the argument curious. Is acknowledging one group's heritage really at the detriment of all others? Is there really no place for new Canadians to partake - if only in sharing in a history that happened?

I would think that many newcomers would be curious about history here, and if coming from a place where history and heritage are valued or respected, would be appreciative of experiencing Canadians', no matter who had originally been involved.

 

What do you think?

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It still shows an insecurity on the part of some Canadians about their 'Canadian identity'. I thought we settled this over 30 years ago when I was going to university! I agree that the argument is spurious at best. Canada is and will become even more multi-culturally based. When we lived in PEI,  there was a program held annually to encourage people of various races to prepare foods and dress in their native clothing; to come out to the town hall for an afternoon of meeting and talking together; to watch the dancers in costume and taste all the different foods. This was a real way to learn and share experiences in a social atmosphere. Maybe the rest of the country can learn from little ol' PEI!

Thanks, Brian.

 

I think you are probably right. Most of what goes on in the public realm of debate is posturing at best. The average Canadian, no matter where they hail from, seldom shares in those opinions. 

 

One thought I can't seem to shake in this debate is that in multiculturalism shouldn't all heritages be celebrated. Wouldn't that mean the British legacy just as much as any others?  That article I linked to in the original post, seemed to suggest that it shouldn't be - but is it still not a part of Canadian history. It's an interesting discussion.

Someone once said you have to know your past to better know your present and future. The article in the Edmonton Journal  falls short of explaining multiculturalism. In the past, under the Trudeau government, an entire department was established that focused on multiculturalism. The article contends that it didn't go far enough and only created a sense of tolerance. In some measure this is true because the fatal flaw of the policy in practice is that it fostered the separateness of each culture without helping integration into the Canadian cultural mainstream. In my opinion, what the Harper government is trying to do is to remind us that we no longer should suppress our national Canadian culture which is largely British and French based. The aboriginals were and are a key part of that history and culture which is one of the big things that we need to recognize in the War of 1812 bicentennial celebrations. If not for them would we be Canada or another State in the Union? With the death of Tecumseh, the one Chief who was able to bring all the tribal Chiefs together, the aboriginals of Canada were 'disenfranchised' once again as no-one could speak for all of them when it came to treaty demands (promises made) and the final agreement signed in Europe! The Edmonton article talks about multiculturalism in Canada today as being more the assimilation model best characterized by the USA. Again there is a grain of truth in this but in my opinion, our Canadian definition is more about how we can bring back some balance in remembering  and honouring our culture and history while at the same time fostering a climate of inclusiveness in new Canadians. It does not, using the Near Eastern cultural example, mean that they should have a right to establish Sharia laws in our Canadian justice system. The same goes for a Canadian of European descent visiting Near Eastern countries where women are expected (and should) wear a head scarf out of respect for their cultural norms. This can be applied to any number of home countries from whence New Canadians came each of which has its own historic set of laws, language, way of living = culture. We too have a Canadian culture Ehh!

British influence it might of been as a British Territiory of the time , British make up I fear not, Pioneers came from many lands from oversea's African Colonies : many wide and varied European Countries pioneers from all parts of the globe, seek there fortune of a new life, amonge the Native Indian population in there lands, that today you know as Canada, just look at all the different religions there where at the time, lets face it the British Army of the time, was more Irish - Scottish - than English, hence the reason so many stayed in Canada to make a new life, this is why there are greater Irish and Scottish decendants, in case you are wondering , I understand my heritage is a mixture of all three.

Fellow Canadians, 

We've never been a people who "celebrate" war, and war is something that should never be celebrated. Don't fall for this ridiculously expensive Conservative propaganda tactic meant to make us apathetic toward the future war agenda, spearheaded by our warmongering Big Brother to the south. Stand up for peace and international cooperation and understanding, and decry war at every turn.

Identity is a very personal thing. Ive worked a lot in cultural theory and it is now well recognised that people have multiple identities, but as Ive just said in another post war is a really awful thing, but it really asks big questions of a society and individuals - what will you be prepared to fight for? If 1939-45 has any historical lessons one must surely be that there are some things which simply cannot be allowed to happen,and unfortunately we still see similar things today. I dont know if I could cope in a battle, but if I see some of the regimes that people live under I know that my identity and my family would be threatened enough for me to take action.

My ancestor came from Ireland and stopped one US invasion. he went back to a troubled country and his children went to New Zealand. I am sure he did not know his identity - British, English, Irish, Manx Kiwi?? He probably dd not feel Canadian but he still risked his life here and like many soldiers got no reward or thanks.

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