Today was Canada’s first ever National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.
Growing up I was vaguely aware of the Indian Act, the history of the country and how it was colonized. I was aware of the First Nations, but I honestly don’t remember meeting any actual Indigenous peoples until I went away to college when I was 20.
My college had a resource centre for Indigenous Students. There were several reserves in the region. I remember when the man in charge of that resource centre came to talk to my class one day and how I reacted. I was so angry. I felt blamed. This wasn’t my fault, these things that had happened. I’m not in charge.
Over the past several years I have had the privilege to work on several projects and meet some amazing people that have greatly increased my knowledge and understanding.
I had been given the opportunity to evolve over the past 20 years and so has the world.
I know now not only how bad it was at residential schools, but also that they still existed when I, myself, was in high school.
I was able to be on the Hill for part of the day when the official apology from the federal government to survivors happened. I have had the honour of meeting Murray Sinclair.
And I have the opportunity to teach my piece of the next generation to not react the way I did the first time. To talk to people who may still have that reaction.