WOW – The Olympic opening ceremony was spectacular. Sure there was flash and sparkle, but the delicate way in which the ceremony celebrated the majesty of Canadian geography and the rich cultural heritage was fantastic. I was especially struck with the grounding of the ceremonies in the four indigenous chiefs welcoming the world. How different that is from the US, or for that matter other nations that have displaced and overrun aboriginals.
Just today I was talking to a historian. He was arguing that the longest American legacy has been the displacement of indigenous peoples. Longer than slavery, longer than democracy, we have taken land that wasn’t ours. His solution was a heartfelt apology backed up with a national tax paid to all the tribes for the lands. This would change our legacy as a nation and as I people.
“Really?” I thought, realizing I wasn’t nearly as a liberal as I had thought. What he said was interesting but I thought “not in my lifetime could that happen. It just doesn’t line up with the American myth of rugid individualism and our super special status in the world.”
And then I settled in to watch the Olympics. WOW – Canada appears to have made that change. It has quietly risen to a level of international integrity and passed the rest of the developed world by with its spirit of unity. The spokesperson actually used storytelling in the same breath as media.
Perhaps the rest of us should take Canada’s cue and begin a new era.
Thanks for showing us how reconciliation transforms into “oneness” on the international stage. Go Canadians: First Nations, British, French, and the Newcomers: All of Canada – You rock!