I AM THE DOMINION OF CANADA © David Watts, July 2000
I am the Dominion of Canada.
In many ways I am like other countries.
Like others, I set limits on certain activities to protect the public good.
Like others, I have a legislative body periodically elected by my citizens.
And like many others, I recognize certain rights and freedoms that are inherently human, sacred, and go beyond government and politics.
Yet with these likenesses to other countries, there are ways I’m different.
The word “dominion” itself, for instance.
I was the first country in the world to call myself a dominion
Instead of a kingdom or union, reich or republic.
That choice was deliberate. It says a lot about my uniqueness.
I am not a republic with an elected head of state or single independence day:
Confederation was at least the seventh constitution I’ve lived under since the Europeans arrived. Like life itself, I continue to grow and to evolve.
I am not a kingdom with my leading families connected by blood.
Though I share the British Sovereign as my Head of State, along with a number of Commonwealth countries, this does not make me a subject of Great Britain.
It is a symbol of my internationalism, which Britain pioneered in her multi-cultural monarchy. I have gone even farther on that pathway:
My current Governor General, the resident presence of the Crown, was not even born here. She came from one of the Eastern countries the European explorers were trying to reach when they came up against Canada, and stopped.
But it is not merely symbols, important as these are, that make me unique.
It is the spirit they symbolize, a spirit that is stronger for being unspoken.
The Spirit of Dominion is a spirit of relatedness. It tells about my relationships to the land, to peoples around the world, and to a transcendent Source.
Dominion is not domination. It is to be placed in trust over a land.
No one, citizen or outsider, group or corporate body that the people set up, including the state itself, has the right to exploit the land or its inhabitants.
This principle of stewardship was practised by our first nations for millennia.
In calling myself a Dominion, I chose to embody this principle in the national consciousness. This is the first aspect of the Spirit of Dominion.
The word Dominion also points to my connectedness with others around the world.
My first peoples showed this connectedness in the tribal confederacies and in their willingness to trade with the Europeans when they ame.
The Europeans showed it in coming here—whether to live, to trade, to explore or to search for other countries.
In the last quarter of the 19th century Canadians built a Northwest Passage in a rail line across the land with connecting lines of ships circling the globe.
In the last quarter of the 20th century Canadians became the Northwest Passage between East and West, in the new society they had sculpted together
It was a Canadian born thinker who coined the phrase “global village”.. He was looking outward at the world, but it also applies looking inward at Canada.
The word Dominion and motto “From Sea to Sea” come from a verse in the Bible. But it doesn’t stop there. It says “Dominion from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth”.
This peaceful global outreach is the second aspect of the Spirit of Dominion.
I have never sought to expand my territory at other’s expense, or export my culture or way of doing things.
Yet to the surprise and amazement of my people, many of the world’s other peoples are coming to look at things about me that they feel may serve them.
This happens because I am not a national state. The spirit I have embodied from my beginnings is rooted in my awareness of the Oneness of All Things.
My being a Dominion points to a relationship to a Transcendent—something broader than can be seen, higher than can be grasped, and deeper than can be spoken.
Whatever this is called—Great Spirit, Ground of Being, God, Allah, Brahma, Creator or simply Source, it shows and awareness of the Oneness we all share.
Canadians have had this awareness “Bred in the bone”.
With the immensity of our land and the enormous variety of our peoples, we cannot easily cut ourselves off, either at home or around the world.
I am the Dominion of Canada. “Kanata” is an aboriginal word that means “habitation”, “village”, or “meeting place”. This is what I have become.
“Dominion” is an old Hebrew word, adopted by the Europeans, to describe the principle by which my society was to be organized.
When spoken together sincerely, these words carry great power. As our first peoples would say, “They are healing medicine”:
“Canada, Dominion from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the Earth.”.