What if an Aboriginal mindset governed Canada?

image from Canada’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission website


The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada is coming to my city next month.  Next week its in neighbouring towns.  It’s making the rounds on Vancouver Island.  It’s on a long journey.

Why is it here? In the Commission’s own words, For over 100 years in Canada, Aboriginal children were removed from their families and sent to institutions called residential schools. The government-funded, church-run schools were located across Canada and established with the purpose to eliminate parental involvement in the spiritual, cultural and intellectual development of Aboriginal children. The last residential schools closed in the mid-1990s.

I know, though, that even after the Commission’s work is done, the legacy of the residential schools will remain unresolved.

What if there had been no need for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission?

What if after of 100+ years of colonial mindset, instead, an Aboriginal mindset had taken hold?  What might my Canada of today look like?

How about a Canada in which:

  • Sitting in a circle feels the right thing to do
  • We talk less, listen more and take the time to learn each others story
  • All My Relations is in every school’s curriculum
  • We learn from our grandmothers and grandfathers
  • Wealth re-distribution and reciprocity is our tradition
  • First Nation rights mean more than the rights of your local Skidoo Club
  • We are all connected to our tribe
  • Therapists go by titles such as Roots Worker and Connections Coordinator
  • Us and Them meet without a Reconciliation Commission being formed
  • Intuition rivals logic
  • Arts and Culture are economic engines
  • Community and Justice are good friends
  • Our place in the world always has a local feel, too
  • Inclusiveness is a pre-requisite for (reader’s choice!)

Now wouldn’t that be something!

Do you agree? Or has Ben “gone injun”? (a la Kevin Costner, Dances with Wolves) Leave a comment.

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