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River Music by Mary Soderstrom

River Music

by Mary Soderstrom

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Monday, 20 May 2013

Today's a Holiday with a Good Name: La Journée des Patriotes

What's this nonsense of starting a petition to change the May holiday from Victoria Day/the Queen's Birthday to include reference to First Nations?

I can readily understand renaming the third Monday in May something else, but Quebec, which for a while called it the Fête de Dollard, has come up with a very good event to commemorate: the 1837-38 Rebellions.

Called the Journée des Patriotes here for several years, the holiday's name refers to the nearest thing Canada had to a revoltution.  Taxation without representation and a number of other advanced ideas were behind the uprisings which ocurred in both Upper and Lower Canada.  The upshot was a series of changes in relations between the Mother Country and the several North American colonies which resulted a few years later in a combined legislative assembly for the two Canadas, setting the pattern for Confederation two decades down the line.

If the Harper government were serious about remembering nation-building events from the past it would start here.  But don't bet on it.




2 comments:

Altavistagoogle said...

Reading between the lines, are you encouraging first nations to revolt?

Just finished Rebellion on Netflix Canada. Quite informative. New Caledonia will have an independance referendum in 2014.

lagatta à montréal said...

Yes, of course people in Upper Canada could also celebrate the holiday. I love the secular, democratic Patriote flag, though when I had one, it was plain without the Henri-Julien illustration of Le vieux patriote. Sometimes people have to take up arms, but I found it too bellicose an image for an "ideal".

Have no idea where that flag went...

There is a holiday for Indigenous Peoples: National Aboriginal Day, the summer Solstice. It could become a holiday so people could get the week off between 24 June and 1 July, as many do between Christmas and New Year's.