Reconciling Thanksgiving

 

 “. . . Reconciliation is about establishing and maintaining a mutually respectful relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in this country. In order for that to happen, there has to be awareness of the past, an acknowledgement of the harm that has been inflicted, atonement for the causes, and action to change behaviour.” [1]

This article is intended to bring awareness to the past and provide “some food for thought” about the Thanksgiving narrative many of us have been raised to believe. 

Note: In this article, we use the term “tribes” as that is the terminology used in the United States.

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Why Cultural Appropriation is Disrespectful

Randomly plucking “popularized” images of a marginalized culture for entertainment or profit without respect for or an understanding of the culture is culturally disrespectful.

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The UN Declaration and Consent-based Consultation

“The Government will move forward to introduce legislation to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples before the end of this year.” [1] 

As I listened to the speech from the throne on September 23, 2020, I was interested to hear a renewed promise from the federal government to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Before the end of this calendar year. That’s an admirable goal, but one I am not sure we will see reach fruition, given that the world is engulfed in a global pandemic and nations are struggling to stimulate economic growth and get their citizens safely back to work and their children safely back to school.  Still, I have my fingers crossed. 

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Reconciliation Isn’t Dead. Here are 94 Reasons Why

This year, 2020, has seen some difficult moments in Indigenous relations in this country. But, I don’t think it has been so dire that reconciliation can be deemed dead, as some naysayers are declaring. Do they have the right to make that declaration? What is to be gained by declaring reconciliation dead? Why would anyone want to give up at this point? What is there to gain from giving up? And those who make this declaration, do they have an alternative option? Something better that is going to effectively change the status quo faster?  

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Back to School Then and Now

This article includes a video of a conversation I had with my father Chief Robert Joseph O.C, O.B.C, about his first day at residential school and how he felt when he took his children to school. 

The return to school in September fills some with great glee and others with a pit of dread in their stomach. This year, under the shadow of COVID-19, teachers, parents, and caregivers, alike share a common theme of deep concern and anxiety about how safety measures of physical distancing can be managed in classrooms, during recess and lunch breaks, and during sports activities in order to protect the students. 

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What is Orange Shirt Day?

96This article has been viewed by 96,000+ people who want to learn about Orange Shirt Day. Thank you for your interest and contribution to recognition of Ms. Webstad's initiative, and for bringing awareness to the residential school legacy. Your interest and actions are helping change the world!

Orange shirt day is a movement that officially began in 2013 but in reality it began in 1973 when six year old Phyllis Webstad entered the St. Joseph Mission Residential School, outside of Williams Lake, BC. Young Phyllis was wearing a brand new orange shirt for her first day of school – new clothes being a rare and wonderful thing for a First Nation girl growing up in her grandmother’s care - but the Mission Oblates quickly stripped her of her new shirt and replaced it with the school’s institutional uniform.

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11 Ways to Virtually Celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day

In National Indigenous Peoples Day: 10 ways to celebrate we have suggestions for celebrating this important day. Most of the suggestions involve attending an event or visiting a site. What a difference a year makes. National Indigenous Peoples Day 2020 celebrations are among the many events that have been cancelled due to the pandemic. We didn’t want you to miss out so we’ve compiled a list of 10 activities you can enjoy at home. 

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Indigenous Relations in the Time of COVID-19

The world is a challenging and rapidly changing place right now and all indications suggest that it will remain as such for quite some time. Government leaders are adapting policies and creating new ones to address the impacts imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizations, corporations, small and large businesses have all been thrown the same curve ball and adapting where possible to continue serving their clients and customers. It’s as though we are all “boom cats” running on logs trying to avoid slipping under. 

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Suggestions for Helping Vulnerable and Remote Indigenous Communities

Amidst all the dire news about the trajectory of global and local COVID-19 case numbers and mortality, hoarding of necessities, fights in grocery stores it was a joy to receive a question from a follower asking how they could help remote or vulnerable Indigenous communities. 

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Skills based Indigenous relations training essential to reconciliation

As providers of a suite of Indigenous relations training, we frequently are asked if we offer “blanket exercises.” The short answer is “no, we don’t.”

The longer answer is we don’t provide blanket exercises because the courses we develop and deliver provide the knowledge, skills, and attitude or competency-based training that changes attitudes and behaviours and equips non-Indigenous Canadians to have respectful relationships with Indigenous Peoples.  

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Live Q&A with Bob Joseph

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