As I reflect on this country today, the day that Canada became an independent nation, there are many things that come to mind that make me grateful to live here and there are also some things that we definitely need to improve moving forward.
Canada, as a whole, is blessed with gorgeous landscapes from the west coast Rocky mountains to the prairies to the vastness of the northern territories and the sweeping coastline of the Eastern provinces. We live in such a beautiful country and I feel very grateful to have lived in places like Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, Richmond, BC and Toronto, Ontario, before travelling to the Yukon prior to settling here in Alberta.
In addition to the natural landscapes, Canada is also home to the world’s most culturally diverse population. It is such a privilege to live amongst, and learn from, people of such varied backgrounds and cultures and experience different foods that originate from all over the world. It’s also been said that Canada is home to the friendliest people in the world, according to a 2016 survey!
While there is much to love about this beautiful nation, there are also areas for improvement. One important area for improvement that I’ve talked about and discussed in my book “Beyond the Label: 10 Steps to Improve your Mental Health with Naturopathic Medicine” is that we need to create more awareness and understanding around how to help people who are struggling with mental health concerns. As detailed in my book, when I was experiencing a manic episode the police were called and they didn’t believe that I had a serious mental health condition, instead, they accused me of using drugs. I was not listened to and I was restrained aggressively. I firmly believe that law enforcement needs to have more compassion and awareness when dealing with those struggling with mental health.
Another important area for improvement is the treatment of First Nations people. My husband, Dr. Michael Mason-Wood, ND, is a member of the Na-cho Nyak Dun First Nations from the Yukon and so the treatment of First Nations people is very close to my heart. The news of the mass graves at former residential schools is absolutely heartbreaking and unacceptable. As a country, we have a very long way to go to make amends and acknowledge the intergenerational trauma on these communities. It is time for the Canadian government to step up and educate themselves, hold space and properly acknowledge all the pain and trauma these people have endured. At Natural Terrain, we will strive to support the voices of local Indigenous communities and are committed to contributing to reconciliation efforts through meaningful action.
Please take a moment to watch this powerful video by Mumilaaq Qaqqaq, MP for Nunavut.