Our Peel150 project, which is being supported by grants from the Community Foundation of Mississauga and Ontario Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Sport Ontario150 Community Celebration Grant, is a two-part project that seeks to highlight the contributions of diverse communities in the history of the region and to engage residents from the diverse communities in a dialogue about the future of Peel region. With funding from the Community Foundation of Mississauga, we will collect and document the contributions of diverse communities that have helped to shape Mississauga over the past 150 years into the thriving region we know today. Stories will be collected from individuals and organizations and shared with the broader community in the form of written and multimedia vignettes. The vignettes will be launched at our Peel150 Symposium in November 2017 where the community will have an opportunity to engage in a dialogue about how they envision their role in shaping the future of Peel Region over the next 150 years.
Disrupting the Dialogue
On July 1, 1867, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia were unified under the Dominion of Canada, making 2017 the 150th year of confederation, or, in other words, it is Canada’s biggest birthday yet. #Canada150 has become a time for the nation to reaffirm and celebrate its national identity within its borders and on the global stage as one that embraces and values multiculturalism even though our past and present is tainted with colonial legacies and discrimination faced by our vulnerable populations. So, how can we move beyond surface level celebrations and affirmations of this national identity? How can we celebrate this remarkable milestone in the context of the Truth and Reconciliation Report and by honouring our indigenous communities? How do we critically challenge mainstream narratives about vulnerable populations? How do we disrupt the way in which Canada’s past, present, and future are captured? How do we interject stories of those on the margins into the center? In reflecting on these pertinent questions, RDR wants to disrupt the #Canada150 dialogue by exploring what the past 150 years and future 150 years may mean to diverse communities in Peel region. By doing so we aim to highlight a diverse historical and future narrative of Peel region so that we can inspire diverse communities to work together in creating a vibrant, healthy, and inclusive region. Moreover, to ensure that celebrations of Canada150 include stories from diverse communities.