“Reconciliation is about forging and maintaining respectful relationships.
There are no shortcuts.” -Justice Murray Sinclair
Today our class visited the aboriginal centre to learn about their learning space and what differentiated instruction is and about the past and future for the First Nation. Before I begin to evaluate what I had learned from the presentation, I want to talk about what I already know about the past, present and a bit of the future of the First Nation.
( Photography by Maddi Clark, Camp Scout, Durham College. March 23rd 2016)
( Photograpghy By Maddi Clark, Camp Scout, Durham College. March 23rd 2016)
First of all, I strongly do not tolerate anyone that will discriminate or insult an individual of full descent or quarter of first nation. I will call you out for it and step on you it for it. I was born in the North West territories of the Capital Yellowknife; My mother had over ten years before in Yellowknife and in Nunavut for the government. I live in a small community of Fort Smith where half the population was Inuit, Iroquois, and Metis. I grew up in community of respect, loyally and family. I respected and became part of a huge family and that everything around me – the trees, the clouds, the animals and our souls are connect to the Great spirit. I learned their views and aspects of life. I joined in the community events such as Pow Wow, Smudging, Sweat lodges and how to make tepee jigging ( A type of first nation dance where girls wear white shirts, long red and black skits, black tights, moccasins , the boys where white and black with a sew sash around their waist) and created art pieces and joined day trips to the rapids to learned how to skin animals and preserve their skin and how to use everything, how to fish, make bannock, and join in to story telling, making dream catchers, medicine bags – items in a black bundle that has special meaning to the owner. It was a very precious possession which represented a person’s spiritual life and possessed powers for protection and healing (Giannetta, 2015). My medicine bag had an black rock, a glass blue bead and a red heart. In school, We had spirits animals for each our grade (I was mainly Moose or bear) , We learned the various types of animals ( Buffalo, wolves, deer, foxes, fish and more), As part of the curriculum I learned Chippewa and French and sign language. All these practices and experiences has made me become who I believe as myself as an person and how I respect and be kind to others. I will never forget this part of my life since its very significant to me. I cherish each story, every song that meant to hear by not only your ears but your heart, the wisdom from the elders and kindness from everyone.
Now back to the presentation. I know that European history was ugly to the First nations. The first Nations offer their ways and land for the Europeans, and the payment is to stripe their culture bare from them to make them more ” Canadian”. Around 1883, the government built over 100 residential schools for first nations to attend for Canadian education. First Nations children were to be educated in the same manner and on the same subjects as Canadian children (reading, writing, arithmetic and English or French), ( N.D, 2013).What the government now has created is the Truth and Reconciliation ( Commission of Canada) that is a five year mandate of the Statement of Reconciliation” dated January 7, 1998 and the principles developed by the Working Group on Truth and Reconciliation and of the Exploratory Dialogues (1998-1999) ( N.D, 2013) as well the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement to inform all Canadians about what happened in Indian Residential Schools (IRS) from 1870 -1996. The Commission will document the truth of survivors, families, communities and anyone personally affected by the IRS experience (N.d, 2015). The Commission of Canada wants to achieve that people are aware of the harsh conditions of what the First nations went through and the torments they went through.
The TRC want to achieve in the next five years to
- To host seven national celebrations across Canada ( month of June)
- Provide a holistic, culturally appropriate and safe setting for former students, their families and communities in which to share their experiences with the Commission.
- Anyone affected by the residential school’s experience might share his or her story by providing a written or recorded statement, in a private one-on-one interview or through a public discussion. (N.D, 2015)
- Give health support for those “tormented” from their past
- Give inspiration and support for first nation who want to share their experiences and stories
- That all churches must support the celebration
Note – I do not think money or bringing awareness of having a month or recognition or having more celebration for the first nations is going to ” fixed” what Canada did to the First nation. They adducted children – that is forbidden today – from their homes, away from their surroundings and family and place in pretty much their own hell because of their heritage. Canada took away their dignity, they took away that child memory and gave them nightmares of who they are is wrong. We practically were almost like Hitler, annihilating all the first nation culture, a cultural genocide, so Europeans can be more superior. we are terrible people and the first nations should not give in easy. They deserved more. Our country is to be freedom and righteous, yet we stripe the first nation skin from themselves because they are not proper ” Canadian”. Spiritual, cultural and intellectual development of Aboriginal children I watch the news, seeing how the reverse are, how unsanitary it is, how first nations children are inhaling gasoline, having no education … I lost a classmate of mine a year ago who drowned outside of the reserves a few miles of a bay. It broke me apart because he was First nation and he was amazing classmate of mine. He infectious smile was contagious, his happiness and kindness so open. He was creative and very intelligent. I lost a friend. I cannot and will not forget him. He was very passionate toward his heritage. His death cause so much devastation in the community but to his own people. And we call them savages. I do not weep for the Canadian who feel shame, I weep for the men, woman and children who are still living in the nightmare. I want every child to know about the hell we did to the children, to the weeping parents who never saw their children again, and still today may not know if they are alive or not, to the child who still bares the marks of violence, to the children who forgotten their real name, to the children who bare no name. Why have a five-year plan when they need more years. If we have to witness the war over seas, then we are able to bare our own countries hidden dos.
Giannetta,, J. “Plains First Nations – Spiritual Beliefs, Traditions, Dances, Ceremonies.” Plains First Nations – Spiritual Beliefs, Traditions, Dances, Ceremonies. Dec. 2015. Web. 24 Mar. 2016
“First Nations in Canada.” Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. Goverment of Canada, 21 Sept. 2013. Web. 24 Mar. 2016.
“Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC).” Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC). Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada,, Dec. 2015. Web. 24 Mar. 2016.