Plans are already being made, even before the celebration of Canada’s 149th gets underway, for the big to-do that will take place in July 2017, Canada’s Sesquicentennial – now there’s a word we don’t get to use too often!
Instead of fixating on the past during our 150th, though, let’s take some time to look forward, and incorporate our century-and-a-half of history into shared visions for Canada that we can all celebrate. Let’s pause on that threshold and dream about what our descendants will be celebrating when the 300th anniversary of Canada rolls around.
We are pioneers. We honour our ancestors and the places we’ve come from, but we also judge them through the harsh historical lens a century-and-a-half provides. So as we venture into a future landscape that will surely be as radically different from what we’ve known as any change scenarios our ancestors negotiated, let’s look forward and ask ourselves where we will be in 2317 – more to the point, let’s ask ourselves where we want to be, and how we want our descendants to judge us.
Our forebear’s stories were partly about a sudden break from the past through emigration – about the occupation and usurpation of land that had been the ancestral home of Canada’s First Nations for thousands of years. Future change, unless we consider extraterrestrial emigration, will be an accelerated evolution – commonly called a revolution – in situ. We are at a point in history where social, technological and spiritual change is imperative if we are to survive, not only as a nation, but as a species.
We are setting out from the place our ancestors have brought us to and we have adapted to; let’s project into the future and celebrate the successful transitions we’ll have to make if we want to thrive; let’s stimulate an emigration in our thoughts to a new reality that will be more inclusive, more sustainable, and more passionate. That’s the only way we can truly celebrate where we are now – at the starting point of another 150 years of history in the making.