A colonial brain trying to be post-colonial

I have been attending Congress 2007 and am trying to process some of what I have taken in there. I have attended quite a number of workshops but most of them have carried a similar thread about the importance of telling stories, hearing stories, writing stories and talking about stories, particularly our own stories through autobiography.

Laara Fitznor – a Cree woman and professor – told her family’s story and wove it together with the history of the First Nation’s people of Canada. She is a strong and intelligent woman. What she told rang in my memory for the next few days and I am trying to break through my cognitive dissonance and find a resting place. She talked a bit about where we are in the story that has been written between First Nation’s and Metis people of Canada and the rest of us. She talked about our being in a place where we can re-story to work as allies and open up spaces within society for the growth of Indigenous peoples and their contributions to society in Canada.

I want to be a part of the retelling, the re-storying. I am not sure what my role is but it has made me wonder about my reaction to the story of “Snow Tunnel Sisters“. Is my reaction to the story grown out of an inability to appreciate the nature of Metis storytelling? Is my ability to critique literature inhibited by my own identity as a colonially-educated white middle-class female? There are times when I am deeply aware of myelf as a person living on the land of a disposed people. This is one of those times. I definitely to take more time to think on this and find my story, particularly as it relates to my being a treaty person, that is, a party to the treaty which resulted in my being able to own land, become educated, have family, etc. here in Canada.

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4 Comments

Filed under children's lit, education, identity, learning, social justice, teacher training

4 responses to “A colonial brain trying to be post-colonial

  1. Just read your blog message about your interest in being part of the story telling about our country’s history and as it pertains to Aboriginal people. The website link I listed in this form will lead you to what I believe is one of the best documents for the beginning uneducated (which is 90% of Canadians) on this topic. Clear and precise, this document tells you so much that we have never been taught that we should and certainly this country’s leadership should know before they make any decision in regards to Treaty or Aboriginal Rights or on behalf of Aboriginal people. There is so much more but this is a start. Share this document. Murray Sinclair gave me permission to share it and I hope more Canadians will read it. Aboriginal people are only now beginning to exercise their rights and regain lost rights all other Canadians have enjoyed.

    The history of Aboriginal people isn’t something of long ago. It was yesterday and its still part of today because so much has never been resolved.

    Cheers and good luck.
    Keven Kanten
    Alberta.

  2. Sorry for the bad grammar and spelling – I was in a rush. Cheers.

  3. Thanks for the note Kevin. I will take a look at the document. There is definitely room in my life for more information on how to be a part of the necessary changes to our society.

    No worries about the grammar or spelling.

  4. Debbie Pushor

    Susan, I think the fact that you are awake to your own position and that you are asking questions about it is the critical piece. I know in the research I do around parents’ positioning in schools, one of the significant things that I have learned is that the key thing we can do as educators as we explore our relationships and positioning with others is to look inward at ourselves, rather than outward at the ‘other.’ the most important work we can do, I believe, is to ask ourselves about our own assumptions and beliefs, and then honestly unpack them. What needs to be challenged/questioned/turned upside down? How do we confront our own biases and suppositions? How do we live in ways that align with the important beliefs we do hold? How do we choose to stand in relation to others?

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