The first time in Grade 6 we started standing for the national anthem in school, I was shocked. I quickly decided that I wasn’t going to stand for colonialism, genocide, and residential schools. I feel uncomfortable standing up and singing along, and prefer to sit, kneel or walk out during the anthem. Walking out isn’t a solution, it’s a compromise.
I don’t understand why we need to celebrate our country each month by singing an anthem. We are not perfect and we need to recognize the blemishes in our history, and singing the national anthem right after a land acknowledgement seems out of place. We continue to find bodies of dead children, and our school teaches us to be proud. What are we supposed to be proud of? Over 4,000 dead children? That’s what we’re standing for?
Nico McArthur, 12