I didn't attend the TRC event in Vancouver today, I was at the BCTF building attending a meeting. We did pause to watch the livestream of the #Bthechange panel presentation on intergenerational survival of genocide, featuring young people talking about the intergenerational affects of, well, genocide. Specifically, they were addressing residential schools, the Holocaust, the Chinese head tax and the Japanese Internment during World War II. Kim Harvey, a Twitter friend of mine, represented us, the children and grandchildren of residential school survivors, and she rocked it. Kim presented with passion and commitment to making the world better for our children and our place within Canada. In short, she was amazing.
I do feel re-inspired. As you know, I've been feeling a bit of a loss of faith in a lot of things surrounding the idea of reconciliation. I have always placed a lot of faith in our youth, they don't get nearly enough credit for what they do or what they are capable of. I saw that every day in the classroom. When you find what they need to be engaged, you could always see the fire spark in their eyes and they would be fierce in their devotion to whatever cause it happened to be: learning about the lives of First Nations pre-contact or taking up a cause to action. I've never worried about that part of their lives.
What Kim had to say, and I won't try to summarize it here (I'm looking for a transcript, HINT, HINT), just served as a reminder of some of the things I had given up on when I heard of the Idle No More trademark stuff. She cited that movement as an inspiring moment, as I have, but not as the only possible movement. She pointed out some of the things that, for me, have fallen on deaf ears: reconciliation isn't something for the Native population, it is something the entire country has to do. As well, we can't "get over it" when we are still living "it."
Not sure if it will carry over, though I have a couple of ideas now percolating but I wanted to say thank you to Kim and the other panelists for your presentation. I am grateful. While it has not reconciled me to reconciliation, it has moved some thoughts forward for me on what it could mean again.