Unsettling the Settler Within – part 15

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.

Why did decolonization felt, at one point, like an unavoidable necessity?

November 26, 2017



In the same way that my father’s death created a huge crack in my foundation, which my life was based on, so huge that it became obvious that if I didn’t take care of it everything else would lead to a failure.

At the time, I became a complete mess because of his death. He was my most demanding, but reliable ally as I wrestled with my chronic diseases, with the absence of my son because I could not take care of him anymore, with my impoverishment because my invalidity pension was withheld for five years. However this huge change in circumstance became a blessing for allowing some light to come through…

eventually illuminating and revealing the abuse and violence I had been subjected since childhood, and the fact that I had never named it because it had been normalized.

Even though I had been warned many times about the big bad wolf out there, it was because it was happening in my inner circles that I came to believe that it was the norm. The nature of things.

But from then on, because of that moment of illumination, because I was now facing the whole truth behind my story, I became able to step up for myself as never before. And I still am, up to the present moment, 19 years later, continuously processing and enjoying the cleansing and healing effects of this shapeshifting, heart opening moment and movement.

In that same way, I came to realize that, as a collective living organism, our country had also a crack in its foundations…

huge enough in this case, that it was challenging the essence of our human fabric, our ability to cherish, honour and take care of everyone and everything…

by denying, dissociating from the whole truth about our colonial past, and its remaining devastating effects on the daily lives of the Indigenous, Métis and Inuit people. Those who were the stewards of this land way before we came here as settlers. Except for the Métis.

And that it was time to challenge that if we wanted to recover our dignity.



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


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