Over the past two years, I’ve become more aware of my white settler heritage and the privilege that comes along side that background. It hasn’t been an easy exploration and I would say the journey is still only in it’s infancy.
What comes along with looking into your background and dissecting your identity is finding out about others identities. More so, looking at our society as a whole, and seeing the many injustices that have taken place, and continue to take place.
To me, becoming unsettled is about looking inward, looking at personal flaws and privileges, and constantly analyzing who I am, where I came from, and where I am headed.
In the past, I would have introduced myself with just a name. Maybe adding that I’m Canadian, depending on my surroundings. After having kids, I introduce my self as a dad. As I begin to look inward, and surround myself with experiences such as the Treaty 4 Gathering, a trip to Lebret, blanket exercises, work at Paul Dojack Youth Centre and countless different courses and conversations at university, my introduction becomes more and more complicated. For instance, while at the Lebret residential school location last week, my introduction felt like 5 minutes of confused rambling.
It’s not as simple as saying “My name is Kim, and I’m Canadian” anymore. I want to explore what is actually means to be Canadian. What does “Canada 150” mean to me? A question presented at the Treaty 4 gathering was “What does being a Treaty person mean to me”. That’s a deep question, and I’m not sure the answer. However, I want to see what I can find out, for myself, and more importantly, the people that have been oppressed for well over 100 years.
I pledge be involved in STARS, not only taking part in blanket exercises, but facilitate blanket exercises, getting involved and partaking in conversation for better understanding of myself, and our society. Immerse myself in Treaty education, at a deeper level than reading articles, asking questions and taking in information. Instead I want to find out ways to give back as well, and contribute.
This is connected with Treaty Education in the curriculum, as well as looking at Canadian history in the curriculum through a different lens.