Before I began one of my MA interviews, my participant recommended that I read Maracle’s “My Conversations with Canadians”. I (luckily enough) had it in the massive stack of books I am trying to work my way through. I think this book is quite spectacular as through Maracle’s insights you start to rethink the things you yourself do or say (and/or those around you). Maracle is exactly the type of writer I adore. Witty, creative, educating and hard-hitting.
Below I am going to list a few (of the many) quotes that I have tried to answer for myself, and that I put to my students. I think if we take the time to try to answer some of these, settlers may better realise where we have failed in our treaty responsibilities and how we continue to do so.
“Not a single Canadian has ever approached me to say: Why are there so many injustices committed against Indigenous peoples or Why is there not a strong movement for support justice and sovereignty for Indigenous people’s sovereignty movement in Canada?” (p.8)
“So how did our land get to be a country called Canada without out consent”…not a single Canadian has asked me this (pp.9-10)
“Who are we separately and together?” (p.21)-in reference to ‘Canadians’ and Indigenous peoples
“But isn’t it better in Canada than in the US?” (p.33) -naïve questions spoken about Canadians regarding colonial systems
Note: I am aware of Maracle’s chapter’s surrounding education, university, research and ways of knowing and she is right in every respect. Along my own journey I have faced these positions and am currently grappling with how I can remain and educator and researcher but learn to do so “in the good way”. I am not yet at the point where I have a response but I have spent the last 4 years of my life working towards this and I will continue to do so.
Lee Maracle' s (2017) book My Conversation with Canadians.