On June 27th we celebrate Multiculturalism Day! Canadians have an international reputation for their cultural diversity that brings all people together. We are renowned for having a better understanding and better supports for people representing minority groups in Canada and beyond.
Even though Canadians are culturally diverse, many people, like professor Randal Hansen at the University of Toronto, informs us that the situation in which we have left our Indigenous sisters and brothers is devastating. Hansen argues that “if Canada and Canadians had any particular talent for coping with diversity, then the country’s oldest “minority”—aboriginal Canadians— would be well incorporated into Canadian society and the Canadian economy” (p.712). There are enormous discrepancies between national averages and Indigenous peoples’ averages when considering unemployment, income, and high school retention rates (Hansen, 2017).
What can Canadians learn from this? Multiculturalism is a well sounding term, but Canadians should include multiculturalism in their communities by holding our governments accountable for implementing multiculturalism as an essential component of Canadian identity. Hansen also tells us that the funding dedicated to multiculturalism in Canada is equivalent to nothing, which explains why many minority groups in Canada, such as Indigenous peoples, are disadvantaged compared to the majority (2017). As Canadians, we should ensure that all people in Canada have the same respect devoted towards them regardless their race, ethnicity, gender, religion, class and socio-economic status.
We encourage our members to take time during Canada Day celebrations to think of the minority groups in our country that have experienced hardships and suffering by our municipal, provincial and/or federal governments. We hope this greater understanding will lead to stronger communities that support one another.
You can celebrate multiculturalism in Canada by participating in our contest! Tell us why multiculturalism is essential to Canadians or how you celebrate cultural diversity in Canada and you can win a prize! Send your letter to [email protected].
Celebrate diversity on Canada Day!
Hansen, Randal. (2017). “Why Both the Left and the Right Are Wrong: Immigration and Multiculturalism in Canada”. Political Science & Politics 50(3), 712-716.