As we approach the second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, there is much to think about.
First and foremost, I view this day as a day to pay respect to the victims and survivors of residential schools, but also to Indigenous people suffering from the impacts of colonization and racism in Canada. And it is an uncomfortable, but necessary place for Canadians to be in.
This isn’t ancient history either. It was only when I became a mother that I fully understood what the harm of having your children taken away from you would be. I think it would be my undoing as a person if that happened to me. This has helped me understand the multi-generational impacts that are still under way in our communities. And as uncomfortable as we are with this information, knowing it will help us act in a way to ensure that these complex and outstanding issues are understood and resolved.
There are many that can take action, including not just governments, companies and academia, but also individuals. I urge people to think about how they can contribute to Indigenous Reconciliation. You can educate yourself, you can volunteer for an Indigenous led organization, you can donate money to a cause that aligns with your value system. You can advocate governments for change. You can do more than you realize.
I would like to acknowledge the people that are taking risks to find a way to contribute.
It’s not easy to forge a path forward when there are no clear answers. I think about local people who returned artifacts to our community. Well, in all honesty what are artifacts to many, are ancestral belongings to us. In fact, if you have these sort of items in your basement, I urge you to contact Tsawwassen First Nation to pass them along.
Tsawwassen is doing much work to be able to safely house artifacts and always welcomes the return of these treasures and hope to ensure they are preserved for everyone to enjoy and learn from.
Everyone is welcome to attend a walk for reconciliation with Tsawwassen First Nation members and residents on Sept. 30 at the Tsawwassen First Nation Recreation Centre Parking lot 1925, Tsawwassen Drive. Events start at 10 a.m.
Finally, whatever you do, please use the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation to reflect on what you want Canada’s reconciled future to look like and how you can contribute to that future.
We are all here to stay.
-Kwuntiltunaat Kim Baird/Chancellor, Kwantlen Polytechnic University