What does Canada Day mean to Filipinos who know their history?

Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, Filipino workers are hailed as “heroes” but are forced to work in dangerous conditions and do not receive fair compensation. We are factory workers, farm-hands, janitors, care workers, and other essential front-liners displaced from our homeland and drawn here by a false promise of a brighter future.

As migrants and children of migrants forced out of the Philippines onto stolen Indigenous land, it is our responsibility to learn and understand the histories of the peoples on whose lands our families have settled at and now call home. If we study that history, we will see many parallels with our own.

Canada’s bloody legacy

Since the 1500s, European colonizers have targeted this land for its rich resources. In order to get their hands on it, the European colonizers enacted genocidal wars on the Indigenous peoples who had been here for thousands of years before. Since then, the Canadian society has been built on land stolen from those Indigenous peoples. 

Canada Day celebrates the formalization of Canada as a semi-independent British Dominion with the British North America Act of 1867. To this day, Canadian capitalists continue to tear up their land to get rich from the oil, wood, and water – while Indigenous people languish in terrible living conditions. 

The Canadian ruling class doesn’t simply neglect Indigenous peoples, like with their refusal to find justice for thousands of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. They actively rely on the oppression and exploitation of Indigenous people.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police continue their centuries-long campaign of violent harrassment and murder of Indigenous people. It is the RCMP that enables the Canadian ruling capitalist class to trespass on Indigenous lands to build oil pipelines.


As students of the history of the Filipino people, we can draw clear parallels from this bloody history and present to the colonization of the Philippines by Spanish and then American invaders. It is important for us to draw these parallels, because doing so makes us realize that we have a common enemy today. That enemy is the world capitalist system, which we call imperialism. 

And, having drawn these parallels, we can more clearly understand our task. Our most concrete contribution to stopping the settling of these lands is addressing the root problems of forced migration from the Philippines. We fight for a National Democratic Philippines, liberated from imperialism and united with a socialist perspective. Our fight is alongside the Indigenous liberation movement here in so-called Canada.

We actively reject pandering to colonial constructs, including the minority myth, that are inherently anti-Indigenous and anti-Black. They attempt to pit us against Indigenous and Black communities in ways that protect settler interests. The Filipino people have seen these divisive tactics in the centuries of colonization and in modern-day US imperialism. 

Anakbayan Toronto vows to struggle resolutely against the attempts of the Canadian ruling class to pit us against other oppressed groups. We seek to militantly support the anti-colonial struggles surrounding us and firmly connect it to our own. Not as allies, but as comrades and kasamas.

We encourage Filipino youth to take part in this study and this struggle. Join Anakbayan Toronto! Sumapi na sa Anakbayan Toronto!

End Labor Export Policy!

Cancel Canada Day!

Build the united struggle against imperialism!

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