Happy Birthday to Us

Good Day Brave hearts

A Happy Canada Day to you.

Today we celebrate the birthday of this great country. A village from the forest. A dream of national identity. A work of unity of life and lifestyle in a land so vast and diverse. The land, the people, the projects, all individually styled for an outcome of diversity and praises for all of it. The great land with its majestic mountains, it’s sweeping prairie, it’s thousands of lakes, it’s forests, it’s tundra, it’s landscapes so unique and awesome. The great land, filled with great people, great places, great adventure and great belonging.

Fill your cup, with the endless opportunity of Canada! The opportunity for exploration is immense, with so much enjoy. We are the second largest country in the world and have so much to see and to discover. The valuable history of sharing and caring for each other. The widespread plains of homesteaders striving to build a country from sea to shining sea. The great north, so wild and free.

This is our Canada. A vast and brilliant home to us. A place of nurturing our spirits, of learning, of wisdom. This is the country that we made ourselves, from our skills, our intelligence, our passions, and our sense of community. We built this. We chose this. We collectively decided that this is the Canada that we want, that we love and that is our home. We made this place special to us, ourselves.

This fabulous world of the wilderness and the great wild, is home for us. We save it because we adore it. It speaks to us, to adventure, to explore, to challenge ourselves to be smart, educated, strong and daring. This great land calls us to retain ancestral roots which tie us to a past time of athletic adventure, community and ingenuity. It calls us to the present, of eco tourism, the food supply, the great cities. It calls us to our future, to retain it all, to be proud, to learn from each other and to share our knowledge with each other. It calls us. Each and every Canadian, to do our duty of care for this great nation. This great country that we call our home.

It is with great pleasure that we celebrate this birthday. 133 years of a community of people spread out over a vast countryside of unique places to live in and to visit. The differences in cultures, in heritage, in ties that bind us. We are not all the same, but we are. We are all different, but we are one. We are all diverse, but we are the same. This is how we choose to be. Individual, healthy, strong, with a courage to be culturally diverse and still be united. To live together in multicultural unity. This is our goal and one of our freedoms. Respect for each other and for the intellect that brings us peace and opportunity under a flag that flies so freely.

Happy Birthday Canada. May our dreams remain alive. May our hopes be fulfilled. May our way of life survive us. May we be filled with the glory of this great nation. Happy Birthday, Canada. May you live forever!

written by Dr. Louise Hayes

Canada Day, 2020

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Saint Marie Among the Hurons

Hail Brave hearts

It is with great courage that we settle this country, filled with new adventures and difficult times.  It is with bravery that we meet these new people in their own homeland and on their own terms.  It is with faith and prayer that we negotiate a peaceful settlement, and with determination and recognition of the mission, that is required, proceed to our duty.  To the new land, and to the people of it, we meet.

Such is the sturdy vow of the missionary, the Jesuits who landed to fulfill their duty.  Bring the people religion.  Bring them to Christianity.  It is the solemn vow of the faith, these people must be saved.  Saved in the eyes of God, save their everlasting soul.  Save the people, even in death.

The mission was built in Huron (Wendake) territory, 1200 kilometers from Quebec.  Started in 1639 and lasting only 10  years, it was the first settlement in New France, in the province that is now Ontario.   It was set on a large tract of land between Lake Simcoe and Georgian Bay, in  Huron territory.  The the mission itself was on the Wye River.

Only a small group of men made the long journey from Quebec City to this remote place.  All martyred for their faith.  The Huron themselves, were curious and peaceful.  They allowed the mission on their land and allowed the Jesuits to preach to them.  Some converted, some did not, but pursue the faith is a must.  Fulfill the mission of their lives, they must.  Bring religion to the people.  Serve God.  No matter what the price is , it is not too high.  Serve God.  Bring Christianity to the people with the intention of everlasting peace.  Peace on Earth, goodwill to your fellow human.

Canada’s first Christmas Carol, the Huron Carol, written in 1642 probably by Jean de Brebeuf.

Saint Marie among the Huron is a historical place of hope, dreams, hardship and abandonment.  The security of the Jesuits, lost to the increasing hostility of the Iroquois in the insistent war with the Huron.  Iroquois with guns, Huron with bow and arrow, missionaries with prayer.  Peace among us, oh mighty human.  This territory belongs to the Huron, the land of the Wendake.

http://www.saintemarieamongthehurons.on.ca/sm/en/HistoricalInformation/TheSainteMarieStory/index.htm

But the dreadful incessant war proved the Iroquois to be a stronger and more aggressive people.  Intent on murder, they continued their assault on the Huron and would not leave.  Some of the Huron  who survived  fled to neighboring tribes, and to Quebec to re-establish themselves, on Ile de Orleans , just east of Quebec city in 1650.  By 1649 the mission was in ruin, burned by the Jesuits so that the Iroquois couldn’t inhabit it.  The Huron had departed, the Jesuits were gone.  Gone, but saved.  Other peace remained.  The fur trade was still active, with trade and negotiation still intact.  With the loss of this mission is an uncanny coincidence.  The city of Montreal, founded in 1649.

 

written by Dr. Louise Hayes

March 10, 2020