Raji:This all resonates to the best my bloodlines can allow. This land is grieving. I have a troubled relationship as a settler with this Western notion of Truth and Reconciliation. The two are bridged together and all efforts fall under this banner when they are such separate acts of love and reparation. We both practice circular thinking. We, settlers, need to seek truth actively and urgently. And reconciliation happens much after that and it has to be slow and allow for healing and dialogue and resources and love and trust. One can’t happen without the other but they can’t be done in the same time and space with each other. You cannot unearth unmarked graves from residential schools in Canada and expect Indigenous peoples to accept a Pope’s apology as a momentous closure.
Natalie:Even the language used by the settler governments to describe unmarked graves from residential schools was discovering the graves. You didn’t discover them. Those were events with specific intention. We live with that grief everyday. Those are our kin, our families. It’s a very different experience living through and waking up to those realities that have happened and continue to happen. Residential schools continue to be enacted in various ways whether through foster care or incarceration. There have been so many lies told. There have been so many ways that we have been taught to hate ourselves.
And so I don’t invest or divest much in Truth and Reconciliation now. I think about Land Back as a place to start. I think about connecting our communities together. I think about reparations. But I also think that it has to come from a place of each nation, and their own sovereignty and how they view and how they want. It’s like what you said, they want instant gratification in the West. I overheard someone say at the opening remarks of an art event: “that was a great land acknowledgement.” You’re giving yourself props for land acknowledgement? That’s where you’re at right now? That was just incredible to me.
This is something that’s going to take generations.
Raji:I agree. I agree. I so agree. White guilt overshadows the opening of windows to truth. I hope, in my lifetime, I can be in trust with different Indigenous nations, and be in servitude if it’s invited. Settlers have a lot of work to do while Indigenous revitalization, healing, and joy creating happens
I might lose you because our lights are flickering. Perhaps that our Indingeous and Sikh ancestors' power and rejoice. There is a thunderstorm that is descending upon us here in York. And before the power cuts, I'll just say all love, respect, solidarity to you now. And, thank you.