Within my schooling I was taught to view the world with a view that was very eurocentric. We never talked about other cultures, and I don’t remember there being any representation within any of the books we talked about. I think one of the best things we can do to unlearn these biases is to acknowledge that we have them and educate ourselves in areas that we might not know about. Acknowledging that we don’t have to know all the answers and that there is more than one correct answer sometimes is a great start to undoing our common sense.
Growing up I can’t really remember any single stories from my childhood that really affected me the way that Chimananda talked about it. But then again this is due to the white privilege I behold. Even though I am part Cree my skin is white and my eyes are blue. I grew up in a white community and mostly white school. My mom taught me about my Indigenous culture but mostly I grew up feeling white. I once thought that my ability to braid was because I was part Cree, and Indigenous people wore their hair in braids a lot. I wonder if I thought this because it was one of those single stories I learned about as a child. The only Indigenous representation I had as a child was Pocahontas and she wore her hair in a braid. There were no books read to me or supplied to me to read about being part Cree and part white, that part of my identity was never embraced. As educators it’s our job to make sure students are feeling represented.