Walk for Reconciliation - Sept 24, 2017

Namwayut - We are All One

I went to the walk for reconciliation event today with the family. It was a beautiful day; sunny and bright, and it was nice to feel the family friendly vibe. I'm somewhat ambivalent about the whole thing though. I mean what is the purpose of an event meant to "remind" us of reconciliation? Especially in light of the issue of the Kinder Morgan pipeline --here on the west coast-- many first nations are calling for a stop to this development. Same thing with the  Site C dam development. As a nation we have strong language around the "duty to consult" first nations when we are developing these oil and gas projects, but seldom do we actually consult and heed the recommendations of first nations peoples. So what does it mean to "reconcile" in 2017? Is reconciliation another empty gesture towards our "duty to consult"? I like the signs people put on the fence where they wrote things like "I will work towards reconciliation" or "I will be strong" or "I will walk for reconciliation", but these individualizing acts also suggests reconciliation is just a personal and independent process. I'm just not sure reconciliation between nations can really happen through the heroic or individual efforts of citizens/residents. I can only imagine that we will be on this march again next year and the next. Or maybe it just slowly diminishes in importance and the current age is really the moment of "peak" reconciliation?

Here's an article reminding us of other contradictions: http://www.metronews.ca/news/vancouver/2017/09/24/we-need-a-foundational-shift.html

I also went by the WISH booth where Mebret, Eva, and Sandra were hanging out and handing out literature and posters. Sandra reminded me that they always need volunteers, and that if any KPU student is interested, then send her Sandra email at: wishvolunteers@shaw.ca. They love volunteers!

By Mike Ma