Oh, yes, I heard you were quite the upcoming star in your field! Your Mom used to tell me all about how well you were doing: climbing that ladder; making such a name for yourself; playing on the 2018 World Junior Hockey Team, no less, and winning for Canada (!!!); getting noticed by all the right talent scouts; being courted by all those teams; making all that money now!
The NHL drafted you right after that championship, didn’t they? Wow: they must think you’re something special!
Gee, come to think of it, your Mom hasn’t said much about you for awhile now…
Well yes, I did hear about that little ‘thing’: I mean, who hasn’t? It just keeps coming up on the news, kind of like a bad penny. You must be just sick to death of hearing about it.
I remember so clearly the very first time I voted. I was 19 years old and there was a municipal election going on in my home town. I was attending university, in another city. It was the first year that I was eligible to vote and when a person I knew from home approached me to tell me he was taking students’ votes by proxy, I excitedly told him that yes, I would be happy to cast my ballot.
The only problem was, I knew none of the people running and I knew none of their platforms (indeed, I doubt if I knew then, what a platform was). But voting was such an important part of ‘being a grown-up’! I had no idea what to do. As I stood there, studying the list of candidates, I was woefully unprepared to make any kind of rational decision.
In my country, Canada, today is the second official National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
There were 140 federally-run residential schools all across Canada that operated between 1867 and 1996. The intent was to ‘teach the Indian out of the child’: complete assimilation, in other words. The children were forcibly removed from their homes. Their hair was cut; they were forbidden to speak their native tongue; they were forbidden to practice their spirituality and their traditions; they were not allowed to go home and they endured unimaginable abuse: either of neglect, physical and sexual abuse, or worse.
Back in the 1970s, I was just a kid when I first started hearing about acid rain, holes in the ozone layer, air pollution, light pollution, noise pollution, water pollution and runaway litter. I was well into my twenties – back in the 1980s – when folks started really seriously talking about the importance of recycling. And I must have been in my forties before I actually received – from my municipality – a Blue Bin for my glass, plastic and paper. Continue reading “One of My Greatest Achievements”