2017 was a year of changes for me. I finally completed my Bachelor of Education degree. I moved away from home for the first time. I worked as an EA for the first time. But, for the first time in four years, I was disconnected from the place where my social justice roots were planted. Through moving to a new city, I realized just how little work is being done. Because of this, I started a project to do my part in taking up the conversation about reconciliation in Canada. A conversation that is especially important in Canada’s 150th year – a year that marks both Canada’s birth and the legacy of colonialism in Canada.
I found a list of things to do to start walking on the path of reconciliation. I had high hopes for myself during this project but, as always, life can be very distracting. Even though I didn’t complete as many tasks as I had hoped, I definitely have a better sense of my local community. I understand that reconciliation isn’t a list to be checked off but I know that I am learning through these experiences and wanted to learn as much as possible. I do know that only considering 20-30 of these 150 points is, perhaps, a good starting point but this also shows me that I have a lot of work to do.
This project gave me a greater understanding of the amount of work to be done. I am only one person and I consider myself fairly well informed on Indigenous Issues in Canada but I have lots to learn. Now, as I live and work in a place where Indigenous people have been completely removed (physically removed from the area and removed from any conversations both topically and in representation), I truly understand the heavy load of work yet to be done on this journey. This is a hard walk, met with resistance but an important one.
I look forward to continuing this walk in the next 150 years of Canada.