I am a proud Canadian born and raised in Montreal, and I’m of Caribbean heritage. Growing up in Montreal and living in Toronto has exposed me to so much, different types of people, cultures and languages. I know a little Greek (not just the curse words) and have also been exposed to all kinds of food that I was so blessed to have tasted ‘cause I’m a FOODAHOLIC!!
Earlier this year I joined a Caribbean women’s group. There have been talks in the group about the lack of unity among the Caribbean community because we do not just adopt simply being Canadian or being Caribbean-Canadian; we still call ourselves Trinidadian, Jamaican or Antiguan, even though we were born or lived in Canada for most of our lives. Is this the reason for the sometimes divisive community I’ve witnessed? Something does ring true about this. How can we progress as a Caribbean community in Canada if we are still divisive within our community even though we have so many similarities and parallels?
We need to stand together and support one another in order to be the powerful people we can be in this country. Perhaps we could start by calling ourselves Caribbean-Canadian. This type of unity would put us in a position to have a say in what goes on in our community and how we are treated in this country, as opposed to being just a vulnerable minority group. I do know that despite the difficulties I faced growing up as a minority, these challenges made me strong and has given me the ability to be a powerful chameleon. I’m always grateful for the strength that lies within me, and I have Canada to thank for part of this. This is my birthday greeting from a Caribbean Canuck, Happy Canada Day!