Happy 150th, Canada. Time to wave flags, pop champagne (or crack open a beer, chacun son goût) and find a good spot to take in the fireworks on July 1. Ottawa is dropping half a billion dollars on our sesquicentennial, so you might as well get your money’s worth while you can.

Or not. If you ask indigenous Canadians about the anniversary, it’s clear many are not celebrating. Small wonder: Across Canada, many First Nations communities are in crisis. Sixty per cent of First Nations children on reserve live in poverty. First peoples’ life expectancy is five to seven years less than that of other Canadians. One hundred and ten reserves have no potable water.

One could think of a lot of ways that half-billion could be better spent than on parties and flags.