A century before Queen Elizabeth took power, her predecessors pillages Turtle Island (North America) and attempted to exterminate the Indigenous population. Through colonial violence, Residential Schools, the Indian Act, the reserve system, and the government departments dedicated to “managing” Indigenous peoples, Britain’s impact on Indigenous peoples in Canada persists today. With this in mind, any meaningful government changes following Her Majesty’s death must place Indigenous leaders, chiefs, scholars, and workers at the forefront of change.
On Monday, September 19th, 2022, the national day of mourning for Queen Elizabeth in Canada, please spend your time thinking beyond Britain’s boundaries. Think of Ireland. Think of Palestine. Think of Indigenous peoples. There is no shortage of pain and despair found in Britain’s brutal colonial and imperial history. Please, have these challenging conversations and reflect deeply on the news media emerging today on the praise and love adorned to the Queen.