As I await the sun to rise, there is a light rain falling, and I can see the sun starting to slowly light the sky up in the distance. I poked my head outside and the Robins greeted me with their morning song. A racoon casually walks by as well, as I look out my window preparing my morning coffee.
This Canada Day will be one like no other, a chill has set in across the Country much like the cold front that is coming today, it will be a full 50 degrees F colder than it was yesterday. Maybe this is a sign.
Each Canada Day I ask myself what I can do to make myself a better Canadian, and make our Country better as well.
With the humanitarian crisis underway in Afghanistan with the Taliban hunting and killing the translators that worked alongside our troops, to here at home the ongoing discovery of more mass graves of First Nations children.
What can I (WE) do about this, how can we help, how can we right the wrongs, how can we make ourselves better as Canadians and in turn our Country.
With Afghanistan, write your MP and the PM directly contact your local media outlets, demand that the translators be brought to Canada along with their families before they are assassinated. I have my own operation underway, that I wont discuss publicly.
It is ironic in a way but also hard hitting when you think of how and where our Country got its name from.
The name Canada likely comes from the Huron-Iroquois word kanata, meaning village or settlement. In 1535, two Aboriginal youths told French explorer Jacques Cartier about the route to kanata; they were actually referring to the village of Stadacona, the site of the present-day City of Québec.
So don’t you find it ironical that how and what we call our Country today came from our First Nations peoples.
Makes you think doesn’t it.
I think all Canadians are thinking that the ongoing news of more graves discovered with continue to cast a shadow of darkness across our country.
BUT, this is where all of us can do something and need to do something about this.
WE have a duty to do so.
WE owe this to our First Nations, full stop no discussion.
It is to easy to simply point our fingers at Government and others that ran the residential schools, to easy, way to easy.
You can do that but don’t simply stop there.
Ask yourself what you as an individual can do.
Now this is where it gets scary isn’t it?
Most people think that they can’t do anything about our First Nations Peoples to help them out, this is where you are wrong.
All of us can do something, if you are reading this then you are behind a computer, and the simple thing is you can lend your thoughts and opinions through your keyboard with others and start a discussion to move forward.
You can be emotional, that’s fine, but as I always say try to take emotion out of it as it will cloud your judgement.
For myself personally, I am bringing back up to the top a project I started years back, alongside several new initiatives that started 2 days ago.
For lack of a better term I am calling this “ Operation Outreach “
One thing we need to do together is to reach out to the youth on the reserves.
In Canada we have several national youth organizations that have been around for a long time and are an incredible wealth of resources that almost all of us at some point in our youth have been touched by.
These organizations like Cubs, Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, Air, Army and Navy Cadets and others.
Two days ago I had a phone conservation that lasted over an hour with the Executive Director of The Air Cadet League of Canada and asked what if anything has been done in Canada to inform and attract the First Nations youth. I was not surprised to hear nothing was done, no blame to be assigned here, no finger pointing is needed. BUT, we must and will change this.
The Air Cadets alone is the largest youth organization in Canada with over 450 squadrons and about 26,000 cadets taking part.
I have friends that enrolled in the cadets and have turned into some great people, all of this started with the foundation laid when they were much younger. You have heard me say this before, that I owe everything I have to the Cadets, it gave me the discipline, deportment and life skills needed to become what I am, and hopefully still to become.
Surely we can get the word out to each and every reserve in Canada about all of our youth organizations, lets develop a plan of action to inform and attract our First Nations youth, the benefits here are incredible.
I started this yesterday with a letter to all 3 cadet organizations in Canada, and will roll out today further correspondence for the others mentioned above.
Last week I mentioned my new scholarships for graduating Air Cadets when they age out, 13 scholarships will be awarded, 1 for each Province and Territory.
Today I am very proud to announce that I am going to double the scholarships and start a new and separate program aimed at our First Nations Youth specifically.
Any First Nations Youth that is enrolled in the Royal Canadian Air Cadet program and ages out will be eligible for a post secondary scholarship in an Aviation related field of study. This will be an entirely new thing, not ever done before in Canadian history, and one that I know and hope will be explored, implemented and awarded.
I hold the Air Cadets very very close to my heart, they have been the beneficiary of several philanthropic donations over the years, most that will never be disclosed or discussed until my passing, but these need to be made public as we can build on this together.
This is what I am talking about folks, I and nobody expects you to do what I am but each and everyone of us CAN do something like I have mentioned earlier.
This is my way, what will yours be?
To build a better country it starts with each and everyone of us.
Happy Canada Day Everyone.
Chris Ecklund-Founder and President.