My upbringing and schooling was prominently white,
and a little below middle class. Growing
up I only had like one friend at a time who wasn’t white, and my best friends
-whom I was always with- were all white.
I had one family member who was
First Nations but I often didn’t hear great stories about him. Though my life had very little colour, I was
always fascinated with other cultures.
My favourite movie as a child was Pocahontas, though yes, as an adult
the real story is awful. As a child you don’t
know that stuff, you see her out in the forest, and her connection with land
and animals. It was a culture I always
wanted to be a part of but was never given the opportunity as a growing person,
and then peers start to influence your thoughts as you get older and make you
feel bad for enjoying when pow wow dancers come to the school. However, who does that say more about? Them for
there ignorance? Or me for not explaining the beauty that I saw? And even though I was always fascinated,
because I never got to know First Nations people well, stereotypes pop into my
brain when first meeting customers, students, or people in general when they’re
First Nations and I have to work hard to remind myself that that individual person
is not that stereotype, and to let them show me who they really are.
Single stories in my schooling were that First
Nations were troubled, and we only learned about white people and white histories. We never learned about what really happened with
First Nations peoples, never given the opportunity to know why the Ranch Ehrlo
kids, or the “bad” kids were 99% First Nations.
There truth didn’t seem to matter growing up.