On Monday, September 19th, Canada observed a holiday, federally, to mourn the death of the Queen Elizabeth II and Ottawa had a parade to honor her memory and legacy.
Queen Elizabeth II was certainly a beloved figure for many people in the UK, Canada and other Commonwealth countries. She was the head of state of over 50 countries for 70 years. She was also a major colonial figure, not only for the Commonwealth countries but more globally where she represented the biggest colonial empire responsible for the colonization of more than a third of the world’s countries. An empire that has not been held accountable for establishing one of the most dehumanizing business of all times and eras: slavery, through the Atlantic Slave Trade British Companies.
As CCHC dives deeper into our organizational work around equity, diversity and inclusion and move toward adopting an anti-oppressive lens for the work we do, it is important to acknowledge the colonial legacy and the impact of colonization in present-day Canada on Indigenous people, Black people and people of colour.
As an organization who provides services and care to everyone, we are critical of such types of commemoration and how they feed inequity.We take this opportunity to make sure Indigenous communities and the land defenders who live in our city and access our services are being seen, and that the harm they lived through generations and into today because of colonialism is being acknowledged. Widening our perspective on colonization and its fall out is a responsibility we share as a community.