Perspective

Some years ago an acquaintance called me a “colonist”. I was mighty offended because I felt I had nothing to do with the genocide (a word I also argued with) against North American indigenous people. Fortunately, I’ve got enough of a curious nature that I did a bit of self examination. After having read the Truth and Reconciliation Committee’s Executive Summary and a handful of books recommended by some friends I tackled University of Alberta’s Indigenous Canada course through Coursera. I finished it last night and realized that I’m no longer threatened by being a colonist. It is fundamentally true. And, more surprising, early pangs of guilt and fear have been replaced by a positive sense of responsibility. Looking forward in optimism always feels better than looking backwards in shame. For this, I’m feeling pretty grateful.