Today is National Indigenous People’s Day. As a white settler of European descent living with incredible gratitude in the beautiful traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation, I am making the following commitments:
- to better educate myself about the history, the legacy, and the generations of damage done by colonization and systemic racism to Indigenous peoples in this country
- to become more aware of and acknowledge my settler privilege in Canada and how this continues to affect Indigenous people in both large and small ways
- to be an ally and to wholeheartedly listen
- to follow the advice of National Chief Perry Bellegarde that every Canadian should “create space” for Indigenous Canadians by “opening their hearts, their minds and their spirits
- to use my platform as a teacher to promote healing, respect and connection
- to educate my children so they can do better than my generation
- to cultivate a greater number of meaningful, trusting and respectful relationships
- to regularly donate to charities and organizations that help Indigenous communities in Canada
Dr. Robert Joseph says “At the heart of reconciliation is love.” I couldn’t agree more. If authentic and meaningful reconciliation is important to you, and I very much hope that it is, what will you commit to today? If you are looking for some inspiration – check out this incredible list. I’d love to hear from you.
love & pranams,
Note: The image above is a Bentwood Box carved by Coast Salish artist Luke Marston. The TRC (Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada) Bentwood Box is a lasting tribute to all Indian residential school survivors. It is located at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation at the University of Manitoba.