Reconciliation in Canada

To me, reconciliation means it's time for individuals, communities, organizations, businesses and governments to own up to the fact that there have been many injustices against Indigenous Peoples in what we now call Canada... and that many of us continue to benefit from those injustices.

Me and Jerilynn Webster at Reconciliation Canada 2013 All Nations Canoe Gathering

As I mention in 'The Story of The Aboriginal Language Postcard", I learned only the 'White male-dominated' side of history of Canada from school and society. Rarely did I hear voices or perspectives of women, and I don't recall ANY First Nations' versions of the wars, nor their perspectives on economic development, resource management, health, and sciences.

Educators and policy makers exclude and often discredit First Nations' governance systems, ways of educating people, and traditional medicines; I believe this is done so that 'their way' (meaning White or 'male-focused, Euro-centric, and Christian') is be seen as 'the best way.' 

Me and Sly Green Reconciliation Canada Week Canoe Gathering

Sometimes we forget that PEOPLE created racist laws and policies such as the Residential School system and the Indian Act. More importantly, we must acknowledge that PEOPLE then acted - and continue to act - in shameful ways to enforce those inhumane policies. Whether they were forcefully removing Native children from their families and lands, standing silent yet allowing it, or abusing the children, most of us now KNOW what happened...so now we must move forward together.

Yet what many people fail to recognize is that healthier and more self-reliant Aboriginal communities benefit us all. If not for the humane reasons (or out of respect for diversity), at least for the economic side of it all.

Reconciliation Canada offers this definition:
"To ‘reconcile’ is to weave a stronger and more vibrant social fabric, based on the unique and diverse strengths of Canadians and their communities."

Learn more about Kristin's involvement with Reconciliation Canada Week 2013 Events here...

If we want to create a more prosperous and innovative Canada, we must acknowledge many dark decisions in the past, learn from them, and then work together to move forward in a more respectful way.

But when will they just get over it?

Far too often I have heard ignorant statements about 'Aboriginal issues' that go something like this:

This is such a 'Father knows best' paternalistic, condescending, self-centered, disrespectful way of thinking.

In the summer of 2013, yet one more 'stale pale male' asked me one of those questions, and I responded with what has now been named by my friends as 'Kristin's RANT RESPONSE'  . The full response is shared on a separate page (warning that there's potential triggers and a few swear words); but here's part of what I told him, then wrote about:

"I'm sure THEY'LL GET OVER IT the moment that every abusive teacher, priest, nun, administrator and policy-maker from those schools apologizes to the HUMANS they hurt; every Red Cross worker who did nutrition experiments on children admits they were no better than other fascist regimes..."
Read the full story on this page...

Yep, definitely one of my more agitated conversations. It may humour or help you to read the full rant, or you many want to come up with your own less emotional and more educated response to start more respectful dialogues about whose issue it really is, why reconciliation must matter to all Canadians, and ways to create more respectful, thriving classrooms, boardrooms and living rooms. 

Really, it all gets back to the idea to all embrace the concept that EVERY CHILD MATTERS.

Click here to go to a page with resources about Reconciliation Canada, Indian Residential Schools, and Orange Shirt Day - Every Child Matters. Resources...