"My parents were in the travel business, which meant we moved every few years. Calgary, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Edmonton, and even Peru. As an adult, work took me to Nelson, Prince Rupert, and all over northern Alberta. At a certain point, I stopped really identifying with all the places I was in, and just felt that I lived in Canada, whether I was in southern Ontario or the Pacific Northwest.
There were similarities between each community. For example, the openness and hospitality. We were welcomed anywhere we went: either a neighbour would help us navigate our new community, or another kid at school would take me under their wing. I know that’s not the same experience for everyone, but it was mine.
From a young age, I developed a strong sense of community, of helping others. That everyone should be treated with dignity and respect, no matter where they come from or what they look like. These values really informed my understanding of what it means to be Canadian.
Canada is rich in gifts of beauty. Not just physical beauty but also social and cultural beauty. But, at its foundation is a strong sense of fairness and decency. I fear that we are losing that right now. Not caring about others, not respecting them, and in the process, moving away from what makes this country so special.” — Kim, Canmore/ Treaty 7 Territory