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Oct 26, 2023
Throughout October, National Reconciliation Day and First Nations’ learning remained on my mind; a drop of Mi’kmaq blood from my Nova Scotian fourth great-granny hardly insight, an ancestor whose Aboriginal name I’ll never know since she was baptised with the Christian name Elizabeth.
Childhood curiosity gathered lessons long before learning of her contribution to my DNA, and certainly didn’t diminish. I wondered where First Nations were and why their kids weren’t in school with us. I also understood intergenerational traumas as a survivor of sexual-assault, absorbing displaced rage and guilt by more damaged souls; those blaming victims and defending aggressors. One relative scarring the spirits of so many children across three generations and seven families – that I’m aware of, ripping effects that still ripple among those I love… survivorship often brutally lonely.
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Raised within the RCAF of Western Germany I also understood the inhumanities Nazis inflicted and how profoundly we owe the young and vulnerable our courage standing up to angry authoritarianism, to those demonizing different. I couldn’t reconcile Canada’s treatment of Indigenous peoples with our stands through WW II. And so, I stood against violence and racism; voting and voicing for better… and seeking relational learning, like the engaging Indigenous tales within these pages.