canada my canada

Topics: Tomson Highway, The Rez Sisters, Jamaican jerk spice Pages: 2 (809 words) Published: November 3, 2014
Canada, My Canada
By Tomson Highway

Tomson Highway is Cree, born in northwest Manitoba in 1951. He is a musician and an award-winning playwright. His best-known plays include The Rez Sisters and Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing, which deal with life on the reservation. ________________________________________________________________

Three summers back, a friend and I were being hurtled by bus through the heart of Australia, the desert flashing pink and red before our disbelieving eyes. It seemed never to end, this desert, so flat, so dry. The landscape was very unlike ours – scrub growth with some exotic cacti, no lakes, no rivers, just sand and rock forever. Beautiful, haunting even – what the surface of the moon must look like, I thought as I sat in the dusk in that almost empty bus.

I turned to look out the front of the bus and was suddenly taken completely by surprise. Screaming out at me in great black lettering were the words CANADA NO. 1 COUNTRY IN THE WORLD. My eyes lit up, my heart gave a heave, and I felt a pang of homesickness so acute I actually almost hurt. It was all I could do to keep myself from leaping out of my seat and grabbing the newspaper from its owner. As I learned within minutes (I did indeed beg to borrow the paper), the pronouncement was based on information collected by the United Nations from studies comparing standards of living for 174 nations of the world. Some people may have doubted the finding, but I didn’t, not for an instant.

Where else in the world can you travel by bus, automobile, or train (and the odd ferry) for ten, 12, or 14 days straight and see a landscape that changes so spectacularly: the Newfoundland coast with its white foam and roar; the red sand beaches of Prince Edward Island; the graceful curves and slopes of Cape Breton’s Cabot Trail; the rolling dairy land of south-shore Quebec; the maple-bordered lakes of Ontario; the haunting north shore of Lake Superior; the wheat fields of Manitoba and...
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