Krystian Shaw is a reporter & communications coordinator for the Kamloops Self-Advocate Newsletter, which is a quarterly publication for people with diverse abilities. He is also on the Editorial Board at CLBC in Vancouver and a self advocate. Read the article below for his take on the call for Canada’s 150th Anniversary celebration ideas.

road-pic1_1358786628898_engI think it is great and I am so excited that Canada is going to be celebrating their 150th anniversary in 2017 by our government. The Government is doing questionnaires on how people want to celebrate in Canada. The website for the questionnaire is http://canada.pch.gc.ca/eng/1342792785740

Canada confederation / founding was in 1867. My mom was a little girl when she remembers celebrating the centennial, 100 years in 1967. Wow, in a little over 3 years it will be 150 years. The questionnaire asks how we would like Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrated. I would love to see it celebrated with a theme about community inclusion for people with developmental
disabilities and non-disabilities too, by promoting abilities and community action.

In honour of the 150th anniversary of Confederation, what could you or your community do for future generations?

I could do more self-advocacy for the community with the federal government and with local governments and provincial governments etc. by promoting abilities and community inclusion. We should have cake and music in the park at local parks across Canada.   And I think the Canada government needs a self-advocate advisor like they have at Community Living BC for the province of BC. Jessica at CLBC in Vancouver is a great help if you need a self advocate advisor and I feel every community across Canada would benefit from support and assistance on that committee for the Canadian government and offer support to people with disabilities.

I feel Canada’s most accomplishments over the last 150 years that make us most proud to be a Canadian is when they closed institutions for people with developmental disabilities, and make it possible for us to enjoy community inclusion for people with developmental disabilities/physical disabilities. Hanging out with the whole community and giving us a chance to be a productive citizen has made Canada what it is today. And makes me proud to say I am a Canadian.

The website again for the questionaire is http://canada.pch.gc.ca/eng/1342792785740

Have your say! Be a self-advocate! The more people who are answering the questionnaire the better. The Canadian Government only has just over 3 years to plan. Give your suggestions on how best to celebrate 150 years. Let us celebrate to the full.