O Canada -- Why Echidnas Stand on Guard for Thee

An image from behind an echidna goalie on a hockey rink, looking towards a Canadian flag.

Canada Day is fast approaching – and as Canadians we have so much to celebrate.

I believe that Canada’s greatest strength is its diversity. We have chosen not to embrace the “melting pot” ideal in favour of embracing a socio-cultural mosaic – a fabric that’s made strong through the interweaving of various backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.

We’re proud to say that the team at Digital Echidna is representative of those ideals. It is a team comprised of both English and French, male and female, single and married, those born in Canada and those who have chosen to make Canada their home. We have a mix of native-, English-, and French-Canadians. We have a team that includes people originally born in China, Grenada, and Russia, who now call Canada home.

And we’re a better team for it.

For me, Canada means diversity. It’s about inclusion, acceptance, and appreciating each other for our differences, celebrating them, and learning from them.

On a personal note, it is not unheard for our friends and family to sit around the dinner table engaging in conversations in four languages all at once: friends slipping in and out of French, English, Spanish, and Brazilian Portuguese. Our peer group includes a mix of Arabic, Greek, Hispanic, Lao, Thai, and Jewish.

What that experience has served to teach me (and continues to remind me) is that I only know a fraction of what I thought I knew. My level of certainty has been undermined by my lack of experience and exposure. And it’s a lesson I have learned to apply in both my personal and professional lives.

Socially, politically, corporately – a broad perspective earned by listening and learning from sources all along the spectrum makes your decisions stronger. You can build a serviceable Web solution on your own, but how much better is it when you bring different perspectives to the table, debate their merits, and find a solution that works for everyone involved? It's a truly Canadian approach.

As July 1st gets nearer and In celebration of our contry, I decided to put the question out to my Digital Echidna teammates? What’s the one thing that you love most/are most proud of about being Canadian?

Here are some of the responses:

  • Natural resources, of which we sometimes take for granted, such as clean, potable water and clean air;
  • Open spaces, greenery;
  • Equality, specifically equality of marriage;
  • That we’re not exclusively focused on following specific agendas;
  • Beer;
  • Hockey;
  • Watching hockey while drinking beer;
  • The CRTC and the CBC (when they’re functioning as initially intended);
  • The Littlest Hobo (ed note: the dog’s real name? London);
  • Bacon, poutine, snowballs, and igloos; 
  • Diversity of climate, landscapes;
  • Having four, distinct, seasons;
  • Living in a multi-cultural community as equals and the freedoms we enjoy as individuals; and
  • The beauty of Canada

It's a solid list. And, like Canadians ourselves, it's a blend of pride, self-depreciating humour, wink-and-not sarcasm, and genuine appreciation. Now we'd love to hear from you. What are you most proud of being Canadian?

But before we get to that, I'd like to leave you with these inspiring words from our new-business manager, Victor Harris, who grew up in Grenada and currently holds dual Canadian/Grenadian citizenship.

“When I was young,” Harris explained. “Our family had to flee our country. Therefore, the thing that I love the most about Canada is freedom.

“In Canada, you have the freedom to choose your own path, follow your dreams, and build a brighter future for yourself and your family.”

On behalf of everyone at Digital Echidna, we wish you and yours a happy Canada Day. We hope you’ll take some time this weekend with friends, family, and loved ones to enjoy this wonderful country.

Happy Canada Day everyone.

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Questions Answered

What are you proud of being Canadian

What does it mean to be Canadian

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