Unsettling the Settler Within – part 9

Every Sunday, for the duration of the traveling community art exhibition Reconciliation: What does it mean to you? – from August 13 to December 2, 2017 – to honour the complexity of the task, I will publish a post about my process of decolonization.

“RECONCILIATION” – What does it mean to you?
A traveling community art exhibition

July 7, 2017

 

 

The Art Hives Network recognizes that we carry out our work on unceded indigenous territories across Canada. As our country commemorates the 150th anniversary of its Confederation, the Art Hives Network acknowledges the struggle of native peoples caused by colonization and believe that Settlers have a responsibility to understand this shared history and how we may be continuing and perpetuating colonialism in our personal and professional lives. Our hope is that storytelling, and art making and sharing will help ignite the necessary conversations to support our work together towards repair and reconciliation.

We invite inhabitants of this land from all origins to explore through artwork what reconciliation means to them.

The exhibition will originate in Tiohtià:ke (Montreal) and then travel to different Art Hives located in indigenous and settler communities across the country.

This is a call I want to answer.

It is time for me to show up, after waking up to what colonialism had done to Indigenous people, Métis and Inuits, but also to everyone, since, I feel, we were all robbed of having a deep, rich relationship with them, as human beings, as people sharing a land – a land that is not ours, because it doesn’t belong to anyone, except the land herself.

I believe that we, as settlers, have become much poorer from having denied ourselves the multiple possibilities of learning from their many thousand-year-old cultures, their wisdom on life and death, their caring relationships with all forms of life.

And there is no doubt in my mind that this robbery, coupled with all the atrocities that are still happening to them, has endangered all of us. As settlers, how can we see, or refuse to see, hear, or refuse to hear, and believe that our heart, our soul won’t be deeply wounded? How can we pretend that all the damage done will not create a breach in our psyche, will not undermine our becoming as soulful beings?

To show up, for me, means to boldly step up against what has been and is done to the Indigenous people, Métis and Inuits, to fiercely engage in a heartfelt process of decolonization, to actively participate in reconciliation as an ongoing process of learning and resisting all forms of oppression.

Because it is, I believe, what we need to restore what went wrong in the first place.

What had caused us, settlers, to treat Indigenous people, Métis and Inuits as less than humans, and denying us the lifesaving, caring movements of ours hearts, ours souls. Individually and collectively.

So if I want to answer this call, if I want to be ready for August 13, the day of the opening, I need to get into my creative space, research and upload all that will become my final piece.

 

 

Typo or mistake, let me know, I will be very grateful

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