Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

Today is a meaningful day up north, on which they will all give thanks that they are not part of the United States, and pray that they never will be.

Meanwhile, down here, most places call this Columbus Day, on which we celebrate genocide, the murder, rape, and enslavement of the indigenous people’s of this continent. We only do this to add a special fervor to the Canadian celebration because we like them all so much.

Nah, I lied. We do this because it is our nature to take over and exploit whatever we want. Manifest destiny and all that. Canada is just lucky that they don’t have anything we want…hey, oil in Alberta, huh? And global warming is going to expand agricultural opportunities northward?

Pray harder.


  1. rietpluim says

    @PZ – I can appreciate the sarcasm, but please remember Canada has indigenous people too.

  2. keithb says

    Here is NM, it is “Fall Break”. I think PZ said it before, but we should really make it Explorer’s Day.

  3. chigau (違う) says

    Statutory Holidays should be named for what they are: January Long Weekend, February Long Weekend, etc.
    Celebrating long-dead criminals and un-dead myth-figures should be done on your own time.

  4. rietpluim says

    @chigau – A Liberation From Sauron Day would be nice though. Also Towel Day and International Whisk(e)y Day should have become statutory holidays long ago.

  5. voyager says

    Happy Thanksgiving from this Canadian. Today I will eat too much, laugh a lot, go for a walk in the October sunshine and oooh and aaawe over the gorgeous autumn colours. I will also thank my lucky stars that I live here. Never mind all that pesky oil…we have water here, and even a bit of political will to protect it.

  6. birgerjohansson says

    and the towels should have “Don’t panic!” written on them in big friendly letters.

    And a “this is not Valinor but it is damned close” day.

    For geologists: “We have the oldest continental crust day”.

  7. birgerjohansson says

    “Celebrate your inner Wendigo day” ??
    “We have the biggest goddamn impact craters” day.

  8. chigau (違う) says

    mathmatical holidays
    Pi Day = 3.14, March 14
    Tau Day = 6.28, June 28
    Approximately Pi Day = 22/7, July 22
    What day would be √−1 Day?

  9. birgerjohansson says

    “We Got Rid Of Harper” day?

    And do not forget The Burning of the White House, 200 years ago. Unfortunately I do not know when on the calendar either event happened.

  10. keithb says

    Explorer’s Day would honor astronauts – especially the fallen ones -, Sacajawea, Arctic explorers, Thor Heyerdal, those brave souls who crossed the land bridge from Asia… All Explorer’s, not just the genocidal white ones.

  11. pipefighter says

    Canada my not have manifest destiny, but we still murdered, raped and subjugated a fuck load of first nations people. The last residential school was closed in ’96. Not that long ago. Oooh ooh, now that we have a left wing government that isn’t bought out by american corporate interests you can invade alberta, depose them, replace them with an autocrat, then 25 years from now we can have a revolution and appoint a religious oligarchy…like the soc creds or the tories! I mean, we talked about opening a nuclear power plant, there’s you WMD excuse right there.

  12. xmp999 says

    I live in Alberta, and unfortunately a lot of people here wish they were part of the US. Lots of support for Trump here too :(

  13. pipefighter says

    The election results don’t lie, first nenshi, then iveson, now notley. We have a leftward shift. The old guard just comlains louder.

  14. brett says

    #4 @blf

    Surely you mean Trespasser’s Day?

    Globalism Day. For good or for ill, Columbus started the knitting together of the first global economy, global cultural exchange, and global society. There were earlier contacts between the Americas and Afro-Eurasia (the Norse, probably the Polynesians) but they didn’t truly lead to a strong and growing link that knit the world together by trade, travel, and warfare.

  15. brett says

    I should add, that’s not an endorsement of Columbus the man or his expeditions. Both were brutal and predatory affairs.

  16. brett says

    @21 Saad

    It’s the closest I could find to a word that encompasses all the negative and positive that flowed out of the Columbian Exchange. “Globalization Day” might be better. “Columbian Exchange Day” is too long and probably confusing. “Indigenous Peoples Day” is fine, but the Columbian Exchange had effects reaching far beyond just what happened in the Americas – it caused massive changes in China, Europe, Africa, you name it.

    We also not have a holiday at all, but I feel like the day at least needs to be remembered beyond just in history textbooks. It’s one of those pivotal days in history.

  17. consciousness razor says

    “Indigenous Peoples Day” is fine, but the Columbian Exchange had effects reaching far beyond just what happened in the Americas – it caused massive changes in China, Europe, Africa, you name it.

    Independence day had effects reaching far beyond just what happened in the Americas. But as a national holiday, it’s about celebrating our independence. We’re not doing it simply so it’ll be part of life outside of history textbooks, and we’re also not doing it to commemorate every significant consequence it may or may not have had in the intervening years. So don’t plan on us changing it any time soon.

    Indigenous people felt the most immediate and direct (and needless to say, catastrophic) impact of Columbus’ arrival in the Americas, as he was personally responsible for inaugurating that fucking shitstorm. I don’t understand why anybody would feel the need to confuse that point by shifting the focus to some nebulous thing globalization, or the changes which were felt in “you name it.”

    It’s worth pointing out that Columbus was not the only or the first explorer during the so-called “Age of Discovery.” Globalization, unfortunately, was already in progress and would certainly have happened without him, if you’d really want to trace its origins to this period in history. Perhaps Marco Polo did nothing that interests you, but we have no holiday celebrating him (or whatever abstract things you may want to associate with him) as far as I’m aware. In any case, the modern phenomenon is very different from what people experienced then (or what it was like much earlier, on the Silk Road for instance), and I really don’t see the point in some obscure argument about economics overshadowing the worst and most prolonged period of genocide this continent has ever seen.

  18. Rob Grigjanis says

    chigau @10:

    What day would be √−1 Day?

    Every Friday; the only day with an ‘i’.

  19. brett says

    @25 consciousness razor

    Good points. I think “Indigenous Peoples Day” is a good idea for the holiday.

  20. says


    . For good or for ill, Columbus started the knitting together of the first global economy, global cultural exchange, and global society.

    That is absolute BULLSHIT, more lies white people tell. If you want to do yourself a favour, try the truth – click on all those links I provided, and do some reading. Here’s some more:

    Reuniting Turtle Island: The 2016 Journeys.

    Columbus Didn’t Kill Us All: Taino Daca.

    As for this:

    “Indigenous Peoples Day” is fine, but

    Fuck you for being a brainless asshole. Try learning something that wasn’t fed to you by the colonial machine. It might wake your piss poor excuse of a brain up. FFS. When Simon Moya-Smith talked about morons, he was talking about you.

  21. says

    Also, Brett, you might keep in mind that a lot of us Indians are right here, on the ‘net, and we can read your insulting idiocy.

  22. KG says

    And global warming is going to expand agricultural opportunities northward? – PZM

    Oh, not just those! There’s all that luvverly oil currently inaccessible because of all that pesky Arctic Ocean ice! Multi-sided quarrels (the USA, Canada, Russia, Norway, Denmark) over Arctic Ocean territorial claims! And then there’s that juicy dispute over the Northwest Package.

  23. Matrim says

    I don’t understand why we even celebrate the day in the US, seeing as how Colombus had fuck-all to do with the land that would eventually become the USA. (Ok, I do actually know why, because there was a huge push by Italian-Americans and Catholic organizations to recognize him as part of a movement to make Italians and Catholics, who were both oppressed minority groups in most places, more recognized in the mainstream; but why they fixated on him in particular I don’t get)

  24. Rob Grigjanis says

    Appropriately, last night TVO (Ontario public TV) aired episode 2 of Jago Cooper’s “Lost Kingdoms of Central America” series; “The People Who Greeted Columbus”.

    It’s about the Taino*, who were the first to meet the bastard. As well as trying to find out who these people were/are, Cooper talks about genocide and erasure. At one point, he quotes Orwell: “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”

    On the less grim side, genetic studies have found that 61% of Puerto Ricans have indigenous DNA, which seems to have stimulated interest in the real history of the area. More on that here.

    *A cultural rather than linguistic or ethnic designation.

  25. WhiteHatLurker says

    Thanks, PZ. I am thankful that I’m not USian.

    And yes, we have rednecks here, and not just in AB. BTW, Edmonton and Calgary municipal councils are not exemplars of the AB political direction. You also have to account for the personalities involved. Nenshi and Iveson were simply better at getting votes.

    Lastly, on both sides of the border, it was the indigenous peoples that the Europeans had to be thankful for/to. If it were not for the people who had learned to survive on this continent over the long haul, the late arrivals would have been in much more dire straights,

  26. jrkrideau says

    # 33 WhiteHatLurker
    On the other hand, the thought of S. Harper returning to a Calgary with Nenshi and a province with Notley was delicious.

  27. birgerjohansson says

    Celebrate the day by building a symbolic wall at the border, and shoot a symbolic statue of Harper across it with a cannon.