• Helper

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    My family moved to the Cowichan territory when I was about thirteen. And that kind of bubbled up as soon as I read the Contact No Contact, and the Cowichan, of course, territory and lands. My middle school was mixed with quite a diverse cultures. There was the south Asians, First Nations and then all us white settlers. And I could feel a conflict as soon as I got into that school. Continue reading “Helper”

  • Naming

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    In the next month or two, our family is going to be doing a naming. There are seven grandkids that will be doing a Coast Salish naming and be receiving our traditional names from our family. So what’s really neat about that is learning about who our ancestors are even more in depth, and how amazing it is that we have that sacred knowledge around who those people are, and how our lineage works, and the gift that comes with that name, and the honour that comes with that name. Continue reading “Naming”

  • Reef Whale

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    I went on a 30 to 45 minute boat ride to Ahousaht, in Tofino, with my brother, my auntie and a whole bunch of other people to meet my family for the first time. Continue reading “Reef Whale”

  • First Memory

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    Looking back now, I realized that my first contact with anyone who is of First Nations’ descent was a little girl called Debbie Continue reading “First Memory”

  • Carving

    Moving to Vancouver a half-dozen years ago from Toronto I found a city where, to my shock, Indians weren’t just down-and-outs on downtown street corners but actually people with homes and families and jobs. In my neighbourhood there are two homeless Natives, brothers, Danse and Frank, who are there every day, dishevelled but not drunk, spending their time mostly making wood carvings. I was impressed that there could be quid pro quo, not just spare change, so I started to buy some of Dance’s carvings. Over the years we’ve gotten to where we chat when I see him, and I try to help out when he has problems, like the time the police took his tools claiming his Olfa knife was a weapon.

  • Playground

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    And the reason why I thought of bringing it up was because in that time I had no concept of really anything to do with First Nations issues. They were just kids on the playground with me. And we just played and we were in that space. And then now, a year, about a year ago, I met the same person in Port Alberni who I hadn’t seen literally since elementary school and we were there in Port Alberni for a reconciliation walk. Continue reading “Playground”

  • All Calm

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    And we hit that part where you just go into the cove and then it was just all calm. Continue reading “All Calm”

  • Learning To Be Together

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    So it transformed my understanding of what a university could do and could be. It transformed my understanding of who I was as a teacher. I began to see that there were different ways of approaching students, of being with students that involved a different kind of a world vision, a way of being in the world and a way of showing honour and respect between peoples. Continue reading “Learning To Be Together”

  • Close to Home

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    With my position with the Inter-Tribal Health Authority, we offer ophthalmology to First Nations community members throughout Vancouver Island. Continue reading “Close to Home”

  • Authentic Contact

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    And truly try to fully integrate and recognize indigenous people as who they are, the founders of this nation and possessors of values and ideas that would truly do a lot to make Canada the great nation we try for it to be. But again I think ultimately it comes down to if real progress is to be made, if real reconciliation is to be made, it takes real authentic contact between peoples instead of thinking of each other as different or being separate. I think a lot of the barriers, a lot of the problems, a lot of the issues would fall apart if people just sat down and got to know each other in a more meaningful way. Continue reading “Authentic Contact”