Dr. Avnish Jolly, Winnipeg, Canada, July 1, 2015 :There are no limits to the majestic future which lies before the mighty expanse of Canada with its virile, aspiring, cultured, and generous-hearted people – Sir Winston Churchill
As we celebrate Canada Day, I think of all the people that make up Canada. Recently Institute for Economics and Peace looked at three areas to compile the 2015 list: domestic and international conflicts, societal safety and security and militarization in all, 162 countries were evaluated.
Iceland has been named the most peaceful country in the world again, by the nonprofit Institute for Economics and Peace. The others were: Denmark (2nd place); and Canada (7th place). “Europe remained the most peaceful geographical region in the world, securing the top three positions in the Global Peace Index,” the report said.
“Iceland came out on top as the most peaceful country in the world. Denmark’s score fell moderately following its decision to increase military expenditure and due to the impact of terrorism as a result of the 2015 Copenhagen shootings.” Terrorism also slightly affected Canada’s score, it said.
“Canada remains one of the most peaceful countries in the world. However, an armed attack in October 2014, where a gunman fatally shot a Canadian soldier outside parliament, caused the impact of terrorism score to deteriorate, resulting in a small decline for the Canadian score as a whole,” it said.
Canada is a beautiful, bountiful country but it is not perfect. We are learning to admit that. We must take the fear, suspicion, and control that destroy community, and turn them into love, trust, and respect. Then we will build a Canada that is good for all the people.
I think about the people who first populated this land we call Canada. I think about the way they were treated. I still can’t comprehend what was done to their families. I think about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the recommendations that recently came out. I think about the apologies that have been made and the work that is yet to be done. I also think of Manitobans and their role in development of Canada.
I think of the stories I recently heard in connection with the second “Living Well Together – Art Show” that brought together indigenous and non-indigenous women to share their hearts and their art with one another and the community, around the topic of decolonization. The pain is real, as well as the desire to heal and come together in a better way.
I think of Lenard Monkman and his passion to raise up his people and work for change in how things are being done in Winnipeg. Michael Champagne is beacons of light and hope for a new Canada, where Aboriginal people have voices and can bring their wisdom and strength to our communities and in turn, our nation.
When I think of Canada, I think of all the immigrants from all over the world, who came in waves throughout our history. Irish, Scottish, Ukrainian, Polish, Italian, Jewish, Mennonite. Japanese, Chinese, East Indian, Filipino, African and South American countries many more. Finding refuge and freedom and a chance to make a life.
When I think of Canada I also think of Sawami Vivekanada who stayed at Winnipeg in the last week of July, 1893 on his way to World Religious Parliament 1893 – Chicago’. Last month on June 21, 2015 First World Yoga Day was celebrated and in summer of 1893 Swami Vivekananda introduced Yoga and Vendanta to the west when he addressed the World’s Parliament of Religions at the Chicago. His “sisters and brothers” introduction instead of ladies and gentlemen led to a two minute standing ovation and a star was born.
Arise and awake and see her seated here on her eternal throne, rejuvenated, more glorious than she ever was – this Motherland of ours – Swami Vivekananda