One of the main ideas when it comes to my engaged citizenship commitment was to immerse myself in Treaty Education, build relationships and give back. What I have been struggling with internally is making sure that I am living this commitment, and not just approaching it like it’s a “checklist”, something that Mike Cappello discusses often.
In the beginning of November, our class was visited by 5 Regina City Councillors. We had an hour discussion about a lot of things, including reconciliation and treaty rights, and honestly, through the entire thing, I couldn’t help but think this was just a “checklist” thing for a few of them. And much of what we were talking about; reconciliation and treaty education, were just items they felt they could check off and say they’ve achieved. Carrying around a TRC handbook, flying a Treaty 4 flag at city hall, or achieving heritage status at the Industrial School Cemetery are all great, but to me, it felt like those things were done or said for political reasons more than anything else. The entire conversation didn’t seem genuine to me at all.
I know I sound harsh. I reality, the city Councillors are probably doing more than has happened in the past. It is enough. No, but it’s something, and who I am to judge. It just reminded me a lot of what I’m trying to avoid. The journey I’m on needs to be more than a checklist. Being an engaged citizen is about living out your commitment. I’m not sure if I’m fully doing that right now, but that’s what I’m aiming for.
It’s vital to engage in conversation and build relationships, find resources that can help me moving forward, improve my understandings through blanket exercises, other events and classes, question everything, look through different lens’ and then go from there. Making sure I’m living this commitment and not just checking items off a list is what I’ve got to concentrate on moving forward.