I am a Settler Ally.
My father's grandparents immigrated to Canada from Austria (now Poland) in 1903 to homestead land in Saskatchewan. My mother's parents immigrated to Canada from England in 1913 and initially worked as laborers on a farm in Ontario.
My father was in the military (RCAF) and as a family we moved all over Canada as well as living in France for a time, where I was born. As an adult, I have lived in Ontario, Australia and Alberta. I now reside in Treaty 7 region. I am married and have an adult son.
While I have always been interested in and intrigued by Indigenous culture, I was oblivious to what was actually going on in my own country. It is relatively recent that my eyes have been opened.
In 2018 a friend and I went on a trip to Quebec City. It was while visiting the Saint-Louis Forts and Chateaux National Historical Site – the archaeological remains of the official residence of governors from 1620 to 1834 - that something profound happened to me. Hanging among the ruined buildings and various artifacts was a simple map. It displayed the territories of the various Native American tribes before the European’s came. I stood staring at it for a long time.
This was our land’s history. It was a history that reached back thousands of years. How could I have been so blind to completely miss the significance of this previously? And what had our ancestors done to change this so radically in such a short period of time?!
I am now on a quest to learn, to listen, to hear the truth and to do what I can to right wrongs between our people.