The events of September 11, 2001 compelled me to consider questions about Canadian identity when I witnessed the strong national pride exhibited by Americans. They appeared to know who they were. Who was I?
Like most Canadians, my primary exposure to our history was in junior high school – a time when history’s relevance to personal experience is hard to grasp. As an adult, I have re-learned our history, but this time I have connected with the events because they are my history. With that connection has come a sense of ownership and a range of emotions. Canadian history is a composite of great human achievement and great injustice.
The British and French moved across the globe to further their empires and wealth. The first settlers of Canada moved further west and north to access the most lucrative skins. Adventure, avarice, ruthlessness, greatness – all of these are intertwined in the story of Canada. It is complex and full of contradiction, just as fur is the sensual result of violence and the softest manifestation of power..