Chief Peguis, who spent his life working for peace between the settlers and his people in the area now known as Manitoba.
Louis Riel, leader of the Metis, insisted that all residents of the new province of Manitoba should be treated equally before the law and so prevented division and conflict.
Henry Woodward, a Canadian inventor, patented the first incandescent lamp and later sold the patent to a certain Thomas Edison.
Alexander Graham Bell, the Canadian who invented the telephone.
Canadian doctors Frederick Banting, Charles Best, and John James Rickard Macleod invented insulin.
Canadians, Dr. James Till, and Dr. Ernest McCulloch made history by showing the world that they could transplant stem cells.
The thousands of indigenous people who served in the Canadian armies for less reward than their white counterparts, yet, they still fought for freedom for all.
Tens and thousands of Canadians of all ethnic backgrounds who fought and died together in hopes that their country would remain free.
The many immigrants who have come to Canada in search of freedom and opportunity…and are working, without recognition, to make the country stronger.
Many of these people of the past faced corruption, incompetent leaders drunk with power, and all the proclamations of experts who said progress that couldn’t be made. Yet, they persisted in their good work.
Many of these people, like Chief Peguis and Louis Riel, didn’t live to see their dreams realized. But that doesn’t make their dreams and ideals less noble or worth pursuing.
We have a lot of painful things in the past that we all need healing from…but we also benefit from the good work that has been done in the past.
If we have anything at all to be thankful for, we can be thankful for the opportunities that the people of the past have given us to make a better future.
Let’s learn the lessons of the past about those who did evil, those who seized absolute power and used their power to torment those in their care, and resolve not to do the same things ourselves today.
Let’s learn from those people in the past who labored and sacrificed in an effort to build their community and resolve to do the same things ourselves.
Happy Canada Day eh?