I get asked a lot about my "heritage." I hate that word, the concept, and everything that tags along with it. In a lot of situations -- social, professional, or other -- I find it completely out of context and irrelevant. Sure, if you're talking about your grandmothers' cooking, it might be a salient thing to ask, but the majority of the time, it just makes you sound ignorant, especially if you push for an answer when the subject seems uncomfortable. Then you're just rude.
We must pay tribute to the courage and sacrifices of our soldiers, past and present, and highlight their essential contribution to peace and democracy. But we must also highlight the other remarkable aspects of Canadian history. The 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation is almost here and its preparations are lagging. Mr Harper and his Heritage minister, Shelly Glover, seem unable to give the celebration a clear focus. There is room for concern that once again, they will be content with showcasing Canada's military feats and refuse to acknowledge everything else that has made our nation a source of hope and envy in the world.
I choose to wear the poppy for a different reason. I choose to wear it because as a woman with Native ancestry, I want to remember those whose faces we never see in the Heritage moments or on the Remembrance Day TV spots. While we remember the many veterans who fought in the many wars Canada has been involved in, the iconic images of these veterans are whitewashed.