Content of the article
As I followed Pope Francis’ penitential pilgrimage across Canada, I began to reflect on my understanding of who we are as a nation. Prior to our 150th anniversary, I had never given much thought to the formation of our country. I simply accepted what I was taught: the French and the British were the two founding nations of Canada. This teaching, I soon discovered, is incorrect. He completely ignored the indigenous people who lived here long before a single European even dreamed of conquering new lands. Indeed, the Aboriginal peoples, the French and the British are the founding peoples of Canada. This recognition raises the question, who are we? Since space in this column is limited, I would like to answer this question by examining a value that influenced the thinking of our original founding peoples. The value chosen for each is not to suggest that the other founding peoples did not have similar values, but rather to simply identify a fundamental principle that shaped their approach.