In the summer of 2020, the members of the Grenadier String Quartet discussed whether ultimately we believed in Canada Day in the face of the pressing political concerns of our time. On the one hand, during the COVID-19 pandemic, everything that unites us is a balm on our spirit. But the wounds of the past are still festering, and need to be healed. The violence and the ignorance towards Black people, Indigenous people, and people of colour persist like a nightmare from which we can't seem to awaken.
We decided to express our own vision of Canada Day based on an understanding of what is owed to Indigenous people around Canada, who have had their lands stolen, their way of life sabotaged, and their dignity assaulted countless times. We hope to contribute to change in our own small way with this story of my Algonquin ancestors, and with the wisdom of the late Algonquin Elder, William Commanda, whose words shine a hopeful light on the path ahead.