Indigeneity and Colonialism

Talaga reflects on the questions of:

“Where do I come from? Where am I going? What is my purpose? Who am I?”

Talaga, T. (2018, Oct 18). All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward [Lecture Recording]. CBC Massey Lectures.

She recounts her times reflecting these questions and when she reflects them. She mentioned prior to this a story about her home in Toronto and how her little ‘wiggle’ of road was only recently named after thousands of years of their ancestry, and that’s where the road came from. The thousands of years of history behind them, that people were looking back on a not realizing how far back their ancestry does really go, but instead paying more attention to the relatively newer building that was built by settlers that inhabited the land much after the Indigenous Peoples. I think that based on the lecture she gave, these questions are very important for the Indigenous Peoples for many reasons.

  1. It brings in a sense of humbling, remembering how many thousands of years your family/ancestry has been on the continent and that you’re always moving forward from that.
  2. Purpose may be to follow in the footsteps of your ancestors and try to reclaim that peace of the land before everything was colonized while dealing with modern politics and issues.

In Chelsea Vowel’s article, Calling all our superheroes (2013), she mentions her future goals, which means she’s constantly thinking about where she wants to go. One of her examples was that she wants her children to have an Indigenous education, however, in Canadian society it’s really hard to achieve. Therefore, she has some plans put in place to help her children grow in the system they have now, while also remaining vigilant about trying to teach and educate about the Indigenous culture and education that she wants to strive for.

b)¬†Was there anything in the video, the lecture or Vowel’s article that you felt challenged by? If so, how can you use that reaction to further your understanding. If not, what one idea would you like to learn more about.

I think that the whole content of the video, Stolen Children (CBC News, 2015), challenged me. Specifically some of the footage when going back to the time when the survivors would talk about their stories. We’re always told that what we did was horrible, and I very much agree, I want to hear what they have to say, I just feel so ashamed that people were like this. I want to listen and be an active listener and participant in this discussion because it is so important, yet the content is so graphic and hard to swallow. However, applying Sensoy and DiAngelo’s guidelines, I think this is one where we just have to take it as it is, regardless of comfortability because just because it’s graphic to me or others as a whole, that’s what they had to live through so it was multiple times more graphic and hard to bear in their own lives.

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