A Grateful Send Off
Today I wanted to end off this semester with gratitude. This wonderful journey for myself has come to an end but I am handing the torch over to Philippe, a great advocate whom I had the privilege to take a class with. I think he will make a perfect addition to the team, and I am confident that I will leave you in good hands. It was an honour to work with these women and to be part of the team. You helped me find my voice and have shown me that I no longer need to prove that I belong in law school.
It has been a blessing to write about reconciliation and Indigenous issues that I am passionate about. While there has been progress with some of the Calls to Action, there is room for improvement. If we want to create change, we need to create awareness, and this platform creates that opportunity. My hope is that we continue to reach more readers and educate every Canadian from all walks of life. My goal at the end of my devoted legal career, would be to see Indigenous communities living the life that their ancestors had dreamed for them.
“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.”
To recap the semester, we talked about the Queen’s passing, National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, the education of lawyers and law students, cultural competency training in the public and corporate sectors, the education of non-Indigenous and Indigenous children, cultural appropriation, Indigenous veterans, Indigenous Identity, and reconciliation or lack thereof within current events across this country.
Photo credit: Leona Prince & Gabrielle Prince, Be a Good Ancestor, Illustrated by Carla Joseph (Canada: Orca Book Publishers, 2022)
I would like to also thank our readers for finding five minutes out of your day to keep yourselves current on Indigenous issues and reconciliation. Keeping the conversation going is what helps keep the fire of reconciliation burning. We need to keep this fire burning bright because it will light the way on our healing journey. You can also help us to keep the fire burning bright by sharing what you read and learn with your friends, family, and colleagues. The brighter the fire, the easier it becomes to navigate ourselves through unchartered territory.
As we head into the holiday season, I just want to remind everyone that a lot of people struggle financially and emotionally this time of year. This is the time of year when kindness is required of us most. Just like reconciliation, being kind requires action. The holidays can be stressful for a lot of people, but I want to encourage everyone to eat, drink (doesn’t need to be alcohol), and be merry with your favorite humans. It's less about gifts and more about spending time with the people who make life worthwhile.
I want to make one more recommendation before I go. There is a powerful documentary on the National Film Board Website called Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy. Filmmaker Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers illustrates a compelling Indigenous perspective of what it's like for the Kainai First Nation to contend with substance use and an overdose epidemic. If you get some downtime this season and you are wondering what you should watch, start here. Last year, Alberta recorded its deadliest year for drug overdoses at 1758 people.
Your time is one of the most valuable gifts you can give because once it’s given, you can’t get it back. Make sure you're spending it on the right people as well as yourself. All the best in the new year!
Until next time,
Team ReconciliAction YEG