The indigenous and non-indigenous is a long conversation. In America and Canada, indigenous people still represent themself as original citizens of their own country and are still oppressed by non-indigenous people. Now indigenous people express their feeling as Jully Black did at an NBA all-star game on 19 February.
Jully Black is a 45 years old Canadian Singer-songwriter. She would sing the Canadian national anthem in the Salt Lake City stadium. While performing the national anthem, she changed the word “our home and native land” to “our home on native land.” This word change got a lot of attention from Canadian people.
Some people agreed with the change in the century-old anthem and asked to make it permanent. After all this, Ms Black told everything about the word change. She said that she stopped singing the national anthem quite a while ago when she learned that some indigenous communities found evidence of unmarked graves on the ground of former residential schools. Around 1,50,000 indigenous children were taken from their families in the 19th and 20th centuries; at least 3,200 are believed to have died. This really opened the eyes of Ms Black.
But when she was on the stage, she thought of changing the word and making everyone aware of the current oppression faced by indigenous groups. Canada and America have a long history of suppression and poor treatment of indigenous people. Niigaan Sinclair, a professor of native studies at the University of Manitoba, who is Anishinaabe, said, ” What Jully Black did was share her power and her opportunity to give us attention. It should be a model for every Canadian.”
Further, he said, ” Fundamentally, the national anthem – like the flag, like our laws and policies – has been used to oppress us as indigenous people, and the more that we can challenge that, the better.” But he was well aware that changing the national anthem is less important than improving the lives of indigenous people in Canada. Canada is a native land to anyone born in Canada.
The basic point of changing the word is to show that oppression is still going on against indigenous people. The point is not to change the word; she expressed her feelings about the oppression of indigenous people in their own country.
The century-old anthem was changed in 2018. Make the anthem gender-neutral from “all the sons command” to “all of us command.”
Now some are hoping to make a change in the anthem, as was done by Ms Black.