Just to one-up our neighbours* to the south, the day to celebrate the founding of the nation of Canada is on July 1. How old is Canada? Without looking it up, I admit I have no idea. 150 years is my best guess. Does it matter? Not really.
I’m glad to have grown up in Canada. There may be better places in the world, but there are also countries where the citizens have to struggle day to day to survive, with not much (no) support from the elected (or not elected) government. I’m thankful that, for the most part, the Canadian government tries to take care of it’s citizens by taxing them in order to pay for social programs. Other countries do a better job by taxing at a higher rate (so I am told).
Canada is not without its issues. The indigenous population of North America was here long before the Europeans arrived, and thinking that they were superior, decided to take what they saw for their own personal and monetary gain.
They made treaties and agreements that were not always honoured*. They used the land for farming and its abundant natural resources, forcing the people who had been there for thousands of years onto marginal lands. They tried to assimilate (eliminate?) the native population because it was the easiest thing to do, setting up schools that would teach them the European ways because in their mind, it was more civilized. The Canadian government took children from their homes and put them on foster care or adopted them out to non-native families, robbing them of their culture.
Over the last few years, there have been discoveries of unmarked grave at many residential schools, children who never made it home for various reasons. Several generations of residential school survivors and their children still bear scars of horrendous experiences.
The government is slowly attempting to make restitution through facilitating self-government, transferring lands, and making indigenous culture more prominent within that Canadian society.
So, do I celebrate Canada Day? Meh. I’m not a flag waver. I don’t claim this is the greatest country in the world. But, I am thankful that my country has never started a war, is always one of the first to offer humanitarian aid in a crisis, is looked upon as a caring and accepting country, and its citizens are held in high regard. When I did have the means to travel, when others found out I was Canadian, the sentiment was usually the same, “Oh, you are from Canada. We love Canada.”
I don’t have to promote Canada. Others do it for me.
*I’m using the Canadian spelling of these words. How patriotic, right?
The story behind Free Book Friday:
I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available?
Readers don’t just read one author – they stick with their favorite genres. There lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called karma.
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Leon Stevens is a multi-genre author, composer, guitarist, songwriter, and an artist, with a Bachelor of Music and Education. He published his first book of poetry, Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures in January 2020, followed by a book of original classical guitar compositions, Journeys, and a short story collection of science fiction/post-apocalyptic tales called The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories. His newest publications are the novella, The View from Here, which is a continuation of one of his short stories, and a new collection of poetry titled, A Wonder of Words.
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