It’s so hard to believe that the collection of personal essays I edited back in 2016 turns five this year! As I say in the intro to this video, today I would do things very differently. When I told her I was nervous, my wise co-host of the video launch and virtual anniversary event, Jónína Kirton, quoted to me poet Gregory Scofield and I paraphrase: “These are my words for today.”
This is tremendously freeing, because when I write (like I’m doing at this very moment), it can feel so vulnerable. So final. People can sit there and read them five months later or five years later, and by then I could be a completely different person. My ideas could be totally different. The world and my experiences in it could have changed my mind, my spirit, my outlook.
For many of us, the past few years have brought tremendous learning (and unlearning) in our personal, professional, and public lives. So I hope you will listen to these excerpts and read the essays – and my reflections/introduction – with that understanding. And maybe reflect on your own aha moments around colonization in Canada and how you have grown and shifted.
Here are a few questions the contributors and I brainstormed to get you going:
- What has changed for you in the past five years?
- Has significant change happened with acknowledging the truth of Canada’s history?
- What does reconciliation mean to settlers and to Indigenous peoples and what will it take to reconcile? Can we truly reconcile when it seems like mostly talk and very little walk?
- What ‘aha moments’ have you had since the anthology came out in 2016?
- How do we have these tough conversations in respectful ways? How has the internet and social media provided both opportunities and challenges to (kind) conversations?
Thank you for walking this road with us!
Also, if you missed the virtual event or would like see the links, posts, and discussions that went on, please click on this link.
Thank you to The Writers’ Union of Canada and the Canada Council for the Arts for supplying reading fees to myself and Katherine Palmer Gordon. We donated those fees to Reconciliation Canada. If you would like to support their work too, please do!