Settlers of Kanata
I was 9 years old when I first heard of Canada. My knowledge of the country was limited to its stereotypes; of its snowy lands and polar bears, its police officers on horses, and maple syrup. Only when I arrived in Canada did I learn about its history.
While internationally known and loved as a peacekeeping nation, Canada has a grim history that has been swept under the rug for many years. It has at many instances infringed on the rights of the Indigenous Peoples, immigrants, women, and LGBTQ2+ population. Unfortunately, the dark side of Canadian history has been a continuous narrative, with many underrepresented groups still fighting for their rights.
As an Asian immigrant who has lived in Vancouver for 10+ years and recently earned citizenship, I wanted to bring forth some issues that have been silently haunting me since I arrived in Canada. What does it mean to become a citizen on an unceded land, to receive a document that grants me the right of citizenship from a government that is still struggling to reconcile with the original inhabitants of Canada? What is my responsibility and rights as an immigrant and how am I contributing to the racialized issues within the country?
I believe the biggest contributors in the continued issues within Canada come from; Insufficient information provided by public education which places the responsibility of pursuing further historical data on the individuals. Unwillingness of the citizens to acknowledge the wrongs of their ancestors in fear of being reprimanded for actions they did not commit. Immigrants who arrive in the country with no access to in-depth knowledge of Canadian history.
I wished to raise awareness and to start a dialogue about the unsettling history of Canada. I chose to do so by creating a board game about the Canadian history, and the ever-changing relationships between the multiple bodies of people living on this land: the Indigenous People, the first European settlers and their descendants, and modern day immigrants.